"We weren't sharp," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "I don't think we had the jump or the possession time that we should have had. It was one of those games where you hope it starts coming as the game goes along here, but it didn't happen."
After a scoreless first period, Josh Morrissey netted his second goal of the season to give the Jets a 1-0 lead at 3:45 of the second period. Later in the middle frame, Aleksander Barkov tied the game for the Panthers, banging home a rebound on the power play to make it 1-1 at 15:08.
Nikolaj Ehlers put Winnipeg back on top early in the third period, beating Sergei Bobrovsky at 4:28 to make it 2-1. Just over three minutes later, however, Vincent Trocheck struck back for Florida, roofing a juicy rebound over Laurent Brossoit to even things back up at 2-2 at 7:13.
At 14:52, Mark Scheifele put the Jets back on top 3-2. Then, just 2:10 later, Andrew Copp doubled the lead to 4-2 when he scored on a re-direction at 17:02. With time winding down in regulation, Trocheck netted his second goal of the night to cut the deficit to 4-3 at 18:26.
Bobrovsky finished the game with 26 saves, while Brossoit stopped 34 of 37 shots.
"It was a little bit more run-and-gun, which isn't ideal against a team like that with so much firepower," Trocheck said of the third period. "I think we've just got to make sure we're focusing on the D-zone a little bit more. I think we're cheating a little bit to the offense even when we don't have the puck in the D-zone, and it's costing us a little bit."
Despite the loss, the Panthers (9-5-5) have wins in four of their last seven games.
"After a loss, we put it behind us," Trocheck said. "We focus on the next game and take it one at a time. We talked about it before the game -- you can't get too high after a couple wins, can't get too low after a loss… Good teams don't lose two in a row, so we're going to make sure we're focused on that next game."
Here are five takeaways from Thursday's loss in Sunrise…
1. A DEFENSIVE FIRST
The Panthers barely gave up an inch in the first period.
Limiting the Jets to just four shots in the opening 20 minutes - tied for the fewest shots on goal they've allowed in a period this season - Florida was strong on defense early on. In addition to holding a 10-4 advantage in shots on goal, they also led 2-0 in high-danger scoring chances.
"When you're having a tough start like we are, I think it's good to weather the storm," Panthers winger Dryden Hunt told FOX Sports Florida during the first intermission. "It's not going to be perfect every night. To have a start like that and weather the storm, we'll take a plus like that."
Florida has now surrendered just one first-period goal over its last three games.
2. BARKOV ON THE REBOUND
Of all the incredible things Barkov can do, his net-front presence might be the most underrated.
With the Panthers trailing 1-0 and on the power play, the hulking 24-year-old center put his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame to good use, setting up shop right near the top of the blue paint before backhanding in a rebound past Brossoit to make it a 1-1 game at 15:08 of the second period.
Video: WPG@FLA: Barkov cleans up in front on the power play
"We've been around the net whole game and waiting for that little bounce, and then we got it," Barkov told FOX Sports Florida during the second intermission.
Extending his point streak to seven games, Barkov has tallied six goals and six assists in that span. Leading the Panthers in scoring with 25 points, he also currently ranks tied for fourth in the league with 19 assists. Over his last 14 games, he's posted eight multi-point performances.
3. MAKE IT EIGHT
With Barkov's goal, the Panthers continue to heat up on the man advantage.
After a 1-for-3 night against the Jets, they've now converted 9-of-27 of their power plays over the last eight games, with their 33 percent success rate ranking first in the league in that span.
"We just know what to do," Barkov said when asked about the team's success on the man advantage. "We know how to execute. Everybody battles for the puck. Everybody battles for loose pucks in front of the net. We do the right things, and we have good chemistry, too."
During their torrid streak with the extra attacker, Jonathan Huberdeau, Keith Yandle and Barkov lead the team with six power-play points apiece, while Barkov also paces the group with four power-play goals. Overall that trio is also tied for most power-play points this season with nine.
As it stands now, Florida's power play is tied for fifth in the league at 25 percent.
4. PUCK HOUNDS
Trocheck said after morning skate that his line was full of "puck hounds."
They certainly looked that way on this goal. After forcing a turnover in the offensive zone, both Brett Connolly and Brian Boyle got a look at the net before Trocheck backhanded in a rebound to tie the game 2-2 at 7:13 of the third period.
Video: WPG@FLA: Trocheck buries rebound to tie the game
"I don't really care if I score as long as we win," Trocheck said. "That's the main focus."
In addition to his goal, Trocheck also went 5-for-9 (56 percent) in the faceoff circle tonight.
5. TWO FOR TROCH
With the Panthers trailing by two goals late in the game, Trocheck provided some hope. Skating toward the net, the 26-year-old center stuck his stick out and tipped a shot from Hoffman into the back of the net to cut the deficit to 4-3 with 1:34 remaining in regulation.
Video: WPG@FLA: Trocheck scores second goal on deflection
"Nice to see him score," Quenneville said. "I know he's coming off that injury there the last couple games. It looked like he had more jump today and more possession time with the puck… He did a good job."
Returning to the lineup on Nov. 9 after missing seven games with a lower-body injury, Trocheck has now notched eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 games this season. He also leads the Panthers in shootout goals (3), ranks second in takeaways (14) and is winning 50.3 percent of his faceoffs.