With the crowd standing on their feet and cheering loudly, Olli Jokinen proved again why he is one of the Panthers franchise players. He scored the game-winning goal on a shot through the five-hole of Kevin Weekes securing the 3-2 shootout win over the New York Rangers in front of 18,851 fans at the BankAtlantic Center.
With the win and the two points earned, the Panthers sit only five points out of the final playoff spot currently held by the idle Atlanta Thrashers.
The Rangers made it to the scoreboard first as Jaromir Jagr recorded his 50th goal of the year.
Nathan Horton would tie the game and bring relief to the fans in the second period just before the 16-minute mark. Horton scored his 24th of the season off a pass from Jon Sim after Jay Bouwmeester set up the play. Sim recorded his 11th assist and Bouwmeester notched his 33rd.
Two minutes and seventeen seconds later Gregory Campbell hit the net with his third goal of the year off a dish from Jozef Stumpel and Olli Jokinen, which took the lead. Stumpel and Jokinen notched their 37th and 43rd assists respectively.
The lead would only last until 1:52 when the Petr Sykora hit his 20th of the season.
Roberto Luongo was solid in goal throughout the contest stopping 28 Rangers shots. During the third period, the Ranger snipers were on the hunt registering 15 shots on goal that Luongo batted away with grace.
The Panthers take their playoff hunt to the road as they travel to Boston to take on the Bruins on Monday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m.