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Panthers Wrap-Up: Flyers 3, Panthers 2 (SO)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 1 1 0 0 0-3 2
Flyers 2 0 0 0 1-3 3
FLA - PPG - M. Samuelssson (3), T. Fleischmann (16)

PHI - PPG- B. Schenn (3), J. Voracek (8), SO - C. Giroux
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Claude Giroux scored the only goal in a shootout and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Giroux beat Scott Clemmensen on the stick side to give the Flyers their first shootout victory in four tries this season.

"It was a close game but it ticks you off when you lose. We have to find ways to win those again. You can't be throwing away so many points. We have to find away."

- Panthers forward Kris Versteeg
1. Trading Power Play Goals: The opening period was pretty much about scoring on the power play. Florida got the first chance of the game just 2:19 into the contest as Tim Sestito went off for charging. The Panthers put a lot of pressure on the Flyers as they worked Sergei Bobrovsky all around the crease before Mikael Samuelsson scored on a slap shot from the point 30 seconds into the man advantage. Down a goal, the Flyers got their first power play of the night as Erik Gudbranson went off for interference at the 9:19 mark. They also converted when Brayden Schenn's shot bounced up and over Scott Clemmensen. The goal went to replay as the net was knocked off during the exchange but Toronto confirmed good goal and a one-one tie. with 44 seconds left on Gudbranson's minor.

2. Showing Some Flash: Trailing by one after a Jakub Voracek goal late in the first (2:01 left), the Panthers knotted the game at two off a nice play by the former top-line. Split up recently due to struggles of the three as well as the team to score, Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann came back together for the Cats second goal. It was one of those pretty goals seen the first two months of the season as the trio rocked to top line in the league status in terms of points. Weiss and Versteeg have played on the same line with Shawn Matthias while Fleischmann has been lined up with Marcel Goc and Mikael Samuelsson. With less than five minutes left in the second, Weiss found a streaking Versteeg up the right hand side. The winger got behind the Flyers defense where and skated past the net, drawing Bobrovsky out of the crease. There he found a crashing Fleischmann who coralled the puck, spun and scored on the backhand into the wide open net. Tied game.

3. One More Point For The Break: A game after winning their third shootout victory of the season, the Panthers dropped their sixth shootout victory as Claude Giroux was the only skater to solve the opposing team's netminder. For Florida it dropped their record post regulation to 4-11. It's the most post-regulation losses in the NHL as the Panthers had been tied with the Los Angeles Kings entering the night. While a point is nice and all, it would have been even better to enter the break with 56 points in 48 games. The shootout loss coupled with the Capitals 5-3 victory over the Bruins Tuesday night left the two Southeast Division foes with 55 points each. The Panthers, will look to recharge the batteries and look for a better post All-Star break than their play between Christmas and the break as Florida went 4-4-4 (12 points in 12 games).
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@altereg0: 8 days to rest up and get going again for the playoff push. what do we do with NO PUCK for a week?!? #BelieveRed #FlaPanthers

@reneeb2010: At least the game was tons of fun! #FlaPanthers would have been nice to get a win by the @FlaPanthers

@Ewener: I'm tired of leaving 11pts on the table!! When is it going to stop?! #FlaPanthers

@OldAsianBastard: Exciting game, but sadly we lost. :( #FlaPanthers

@daveabrams: Tough loss for #FlaPanthers, really looked alive tonight, hopefully can bring that energy into 2nd half!

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Tim Steuber: Nice to see the hustle in the 3rd period and great to see the 1st line put together a nice play and goal. Still lacking confidence, too much deciding what to do with the puck. Hopefully they get it together after the break.

Jeff Main: Son of a gun! Hell of a game though. Despite the loss, thanks for getting it that far Clemm. Could have been a much worse turn out against Philly.

Joe Fiore: These shootouts are killing me.

Gabriel DeSimone: I wonder if we are on pace to break the all time OTL record.

Dave G.: ‎-_______- these games will come back to haunt us

11. Scott Clemmensen has been great for the Panthers in goal this season. Stopping 35 shots in regulation and overtime and two of the three shooters, the Panthers have registered points in 11 of the 13 games that Clemmensen has started (6-2-5).

8. Knotting the game at two with 4:20 left in the second, Tomas Fleischmann netted his 16th of the season (second behind Kris Versteeg's 19). Maybe more importantly, it ended an eight-game goalless streak for Fleischmann, his second longest period (10 games, Dec. 5 - Dec. 23) without recording a goal.

Florida played in their ninth shootout of the season, second straight. The Panthers, who have lost six of those nine games, are currently tied with the San Jose Sharks for fourth most games involving the shootout. They sit one back of New Jersey, Minnesota and Los Angeles.

30. Getting an early power play, the Panthers capitalized as Mikael Samuelsson scored just 30 seconds into the man advantage. It was the Panthers third shot of the opportunity.

Stephen Weiss held a distinct advantage in the face-off circle, winning 71% of the draws (12 of 15). The Panthers really dominated in the face-off circle in the opening period of play as they won 75% of the draws, winning 12 of 16. After it was all said and done, Florida won just 58% of their draws (32 of 55).

Scott Clemmensen
He took the loss in the shootout, but Scott Clemmensen stopped 35 of the 37 shots he saw, including several great stops.

37 Shots, 35 Saves, .946 SV%
The Panthers will get a much needed rest as they have a full week of rest thanks to the All-Star break. Defenseman Brian Campbell will be the lone Panthers representative at the Superskills Competition (Saturday) and Game (Sunday). The rest of the Panthers will disperse for five days before getting back to practice on Monday. Then they take on the Washington Capitals in a Southeast Division clash between the division's top two teams on Wednesday at the BankAtlantic Center. This will be the third meeting between the two teams with each team winning on their own ice. Florida won the latest game 5-4 on December 5th, jumping out to a 5-1 lead before holding off the Capitals late charge. The Capitals are led offensively this season by Nicklas Backstrom (42 points in 38 games) and Alex Ovechkin (39 points in 47 games) although Ovechkin will sit the Panthers game out as part of a three-game suspension for his hit on Penguins defenseman Zybinik Michalek. Former Panther Dennis Wideman leads Caps blueliners in scoring with 33 points in 47 games, enough to merit an All-Star invitation. Tomas Vokoun (another former Cat) and Michal Neuvirth have split time between the pipes with Vokoun owning a 19-12-2 record and a 2.55 GAA and Neuvirth posting a 6-7-3 record and a 3.08 GAA.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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