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By The Numbers: Panthers 3, Thrashers 2

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers By The Numbers takes a closer look at some of the

interesting stats that you may or may have not known about.

Panthers 3, Thrashers 2

120 – The Panthers found trouble early in the game against the Thrashers. Just 4:58 in, the Cats were assessed two two-minute minors as Richard Zednik (hooking) and David Booth (high-sticking) were sent to the box. Atlanta had a full two minutes (120 seconds) of 5-on-3 power play time. Despite the four shots on net during the time, Tomas Vokoun and the Cats turned away all the shots.

13 – The Cats weren’t so lucky the third time they took a penalty as Rostislav Olesz was called for interference just 32 seconds after Florida killed off the two-man advantage. Rookie defenseman’s Zach Bogosian’s point shot beat Vokoun with 13 seconds remaining in Olesz’s penalty to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead 9:17 into the game. It was Bogosian’s eighth of the season.

7 – A very active first period, in terms of the whistle and the referees. Their were seven minors called in the opening 20 minutes with Florida called for three penalties (hooking, high-sticking and interference) and Atlanta whistled for four (twice for tripping, interference and hooking).

1 – A chippy affair between the two Southeast Division rivals as punches were thrown throughout the second period. That resulted in a fight between those that wouldn’t really expect to drop the gloves, at least this season; Cats assistant captain Bryan McCabe and Thrashers captain Ilya Kovalchuk 9:17 into the middle period. It was McCabe’s 60th fight of his 12 year career, but just his first this season. It was Kovalchuk’s fifth fight of his career and second this season.

8 – Finally after six power play attempts, the Panthers cashed in on their seventh opportunity and on their eighth shot as Nathan Horton hit the back bar from a tough angle for his 22nd of the season with just 3:20 left in the second. The play actually had to go to video review to show that it was indeed a goal. It was Horton’s fifth power play goal of the season.

4 – The Panthers finally got going in the second period, with help from the power play. After being outshot 13-8 in the opening period, Florida outshot Atlanta 13-6 in the second. Jay Bouwmeester had four of the Panthers 13 shots.

12 – Florida received the first power play attempt in the third, but it didn’t matter. Breaking out on a 3-on-2 advantage, Bogosian took the feed and wristed the puck past Vokoun for his second of the game and ninth of the season. It was Atlanta’s 12th shorthanded goal of the season.

– The 2-1 lead didn’t last long as Cory Stillman deflected Gregory Campbell’s shot from in-between the circles past Hedberg for his 17th of the season just 50 seconds after Bogosian scored.

2 – Breaking to in-front of the net with the puck, it took David Booth two whacks with the puck to beat Johan Hedberg and give Florida their first lead of the game with just 4:25 remaining in the contest. It was Booth’s team leading 29th of the season.

5 - As it turned out to be the difference in the 3-2 victory, Booth’s 29th turned out to be his fifth game-winner (2nd against Atlanta) of the season, tying him with Horton for the team lead. It was also Booth’s fifth goal (5-1-6) in six games against the Thrashers.
3 – The win gave Florida 40 wins on the season and upped their point total to 91 points (40-30-11). It is just the third time in franchise history they have gotten at least 40 wins and 90 points (41-31-10 for 92 points in 1996 and 43-27-6-6 for 98 points in 2000).

8 (part II) – Unfortunately the 91 points won’t be enough. With the New York Rangers winning 2-1 against Philadelphia and Montreal getting one point against Boston, Florida will not make the playoffs for the eighth straight season. Even if the Panthers were to win on Saturday, they can’t overtake Montreal or New York in points as they would lose on the tie breaker (wins).
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