|Panthers forward Marcel Goc wins a draw against Jets forward Olli Jokinen (Getty Images)
The solid hockey that the Panthers had been playing in the last five games didn't carry over into Thursday's game against Winnipeg.
Heading into the game against the Jets, Florida had probably played their best stretch of hockey this season and were rewarded with a 4-1 record as they got timely goals, great goaltending and solid defense. That went out the door as the game started fast with four goals in the first six minutes of the contest and the Jets continued their assault to score three more in the second within a two minute span to hold a 6-2 lead after two periods on their way to the 7-2 victory.
"There’s lots of different things we can point at, I think the whole game didn’t go (well) for us," said head coach Kevin Dineen. "We all have got ownership in this one (tonight), from the net on out."
"Second period I think we started pretty well. We had a couple of good shifts down low," said forward Tomas Fleischmann who had a hand in both of Florida's goals, including netting his ninth of the season to tie the game at two 6:31 into the first. "Then they just turned it on with ten minutes left and scored four goals and that’s it. That was the hockey game."
What had to be a frustrating aspect to the game was that Florida responded to Winnipeg's goals in the first. The second was a different case as the Jets fed off the crowd and attacked Florida in waves.
"It was a seesaw back and forth that game early on, but when the big push came we didn’t have a response for it," said Dineen.
In a long season - this one shorter than usual - one might think of a game like this one as a throwaway. Every team has a clunker now and then but the Panthers will not see it as that as they try to build off their recent strong play and not Thursday's affair.
"We played really good hockey. (Tonight) it just kicks us back," said Fleischmann. "We have to figure it out in the dressing room and stop doing this. That effort in the second, we have to learn from that and make sure we don't do that the next game on Saturday."
"No, this is not one you set aside," said Dineen. "There’s a lot of things that we have to learn from that we got exposed on (tonight) and we’ve got to take steps to keep improving."