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game recap

Luongo helps Panthers top Jets at Global Series finale in Finland

Goalie makes 32 saves in return; Laine has goal for Winnipeg

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

HELSINKI -- Roberto Luongo made 32 saves in a 4-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets, his first start since Oct. 6, in the final game of the 2018 NHL Global Series at Hartwall Arena on Friday.

Keith Yandle and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and an assist for Florida (3-5-3), which won in regulation for the first time this season and went 3-for-5 on the power play.

Luongo, who made 17 saves in the third period, hadn't played since injuring his knee midway through the Panthers season opener, a 2-1 shootout loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning. He began fully practicing in Finland on Tuesday and was activated off injured reserve Thursday.


[WATCH: All Panthers vs. Jets highlights]


"I was eager to get back in the lineup," Luongo said. "I was aiming more towards next week, but I felt really good in practice the last few days. I had a good morning skate yesterday and I felt I was where I needed to be and I was excited to get back in the lineup.

"[The coaches] left it up to me. It was my call whether I wanted to start today and wait until next week. I wasn't quite sure early in the week, but the closer we got to today, the better I felt."

Video: FLA@WPG: Luongo drops to glove Laine's wrist shot

Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves for Winnipeg (8-5-1), which defeated Florida 4-2 here on Thursday.

"You give up three on the P.K., you're not winning," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Ehlers gave the Jets a 1-0 lead at 8:53 of the first period when he put his own rebound past Luongo after Blake Wheeler sent him in alone on a pass from the neutral zone. The assist extended Wheeler's point streak to eight games (one goal, 11 assists).

Dadonov extended his point streak to eight (five goals, five assists) with a power-play goal at 14:29 of the first period to make it 1-1. After Jets center Mark Schiefele took a slashing penalty, Dadonov redirected Yandle's shot from the right point for his third goal in the past four games.

Video: FLA@WPG: Dadonov's PPG ties the game in the 1st

The assist extended Yandle's point streak to four games (two goals, three assists).

"We're doing a ton of good things," Yandle said. "We're playing hard every night. We've just got to go out there and earn our two points."

Laine, a Finland native who had a hat trick Thursday, scored to make it 2-1 at 17:16 of the first period when he skated in from the blue line to the right face-off circle and beat Luongo with a wrist shot for a power-play goal.

"Obviously, we would have a lot more confidence if we would have won this game," Laine said. "But I think for me, I think I had a pretty good two games, especially this one. I think I created a lot of positive things in their end and got the power-play goal. That was huge for us, but it wasn't enough tonight."

Video: FLA@WPG: Laine rifles go-ahead PPG in 2nd

Panthers forward Mike Hoffman scored for the fifth time in his past six games and extended his point streak to nine (six goals, three assists) with a power-play goal at 4:59 of the second period when he took a pass from defenseman Mike Matheson and scored from the right face-off circle to make it 2-2.

The Panthers scored their third power-play goal of the game in as many chances and took a 3-2 lead when Yandle's one-timer found its way through a crowd in front and past Hellebuyck at 19:34 of the second period.

Panthers forward Frank Vatrano made it 4-2 at 12:15 of the third period when he took Jonathan Huberdeau's drop pass and sent a slap shot past Hellebuyck.

The Panthers outshot the Jets 12-3 in the second before being outshot 17-4 in the third.

"It's never fun to be watching TV while the guys are playing and you're sitting," Luongo said. "I was working hard trying to come back as soon as possible. I wish I could have come back even sooner, but it is what it is."

Video: FLA@WPG: Vatrano finishes Huberdeau's pretty pass


They said it

"I think overall, it's been an unreal trip. I'm going to remember every second that we spent here for the rest of my life. Obviously, the atmosphere at the rink was unreal for both games. It was a pleasure to play in front of Finnish fans and friends and family. It was a nice trip." -- Jets right wing Patrik Laine

"It was a good way to end the trip, on a win with the confidence and the two points. Everybody in the room, they are happy and we all know that if we continue to play like that and keep getting better, we're going to be good." -- Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov 


Need to know

Each game in Finland was sold out (13,490). … Jets forward Brendan Lemieux was given a match penalty for a hit on Panthers center Vincent Trocheck at 14:37 of the second period. Trocheck was not injured. … Laine has the most goals (four) in NHL regular-season games played outside North America. … Former Jets defenseman Teppo Numminen, a Finland native, took part in the ceremonial puck drop.


What's next

Panthers: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, SNW, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, Nov. 9 (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, ALT2, NHL.TV)

Video: Panthers power past Jets, 4-2

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