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Panthers Wrap-Up: Jets 5, Panthers 4 (OT)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 2 1 1 0 4
Jets 0 2 2 1 5
FLA - M. Sturm (3), PP - K. Versteeg (23), T. Fleischmann (27), T. Kopecky (10)
WPG - E. Kane (30), Z. Bogosian (4), A. Ladd (26), PP - B. Little (24), A. Ladd (27)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Andrew Ladd scored two goals, including the winner 3:12 into overtime, to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 victory over Florida that prevented the Panthers from clinching the Southeast Division title on Tuesday night.

Ladd's shot from the right circle hit the far post and went in.

"We haven't made things easy for ourselves all year. We're following that trend and it sets up for a good one in Washington. We couldn't have asked for a better start but we need to be mentally sharp and keep it up. We let them back into the game. They had nothing to lose, they played loose."

- Forward Stephen Weiss.
1. That's An Opener: Looking to clinch their playoff spot on the first crack at it, the Panthers came out flying in the opening period. Outworking the Jets for the majority of the period, Florida potted two goals 1:57 apart for the 2-0 lead after a period of play. Marco Sturm got the scoring party started as he banked home his own rebound off an initial point shot from Dmitry Kulikov 12:03 into the first period. Then on a power play, Kris Versteeg got the ultimate deflection on a Brian Campbell point shot at the 14:00 mark. The goal ended a long scoring drought for the winger (scored a goal 15 games ago).

2. Jets Storm Back: Florida continued their strong play of the first as they scored 25 seconds into the second as Versteeg set up Tomas Fleischmann for a knuckle puck goal from the slot. Up 3-0, the Panthers looked to be in control. Winnipeg was not detered however and turnovers got them back within one before the period was over. Firrst, Evander Kane took a turnover in the defensive zone and scored with 6:45 to play. Then Zach Bogosian intercepted an attempted clearing pass and scored on a slap shot from the blue line with 2:39 remaining. It didn't stop there after the period as they tied it 53 seconds into the third off Anderew Ladd's goal and then took a lead off of Bryan Little's power play goal 3:45 in. 

3. Remaining A Point Short: It didn't look good for the Panthers as they were running out of time to salvage something out of the game. They would get an answer however as Tomas Kopecky scored from a sharp angle with 3:53 left in the game. Florida had an excellent chance at getting out of the game with the two points as Fleischmann found himself all alone on a breakaway with seconds left on the clock but Ondrej Pavelec stopped the forward with a pad save, sending the game into overtime. There Ladd struck again for his second of the game with 1:48 left on the clock to give the Jets the two points. It would have been nice for the Panthers to pick up the full two points and clich a playoff spot and the Southeast Division but Florida remains just one point short of their goal.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Javs42: Deep breaths #FlaPanthers fans. We will prevail. I just know it.

@louisonofrio: #FlaPanthers gotta #believered on thursday in D.C going to be a tough game at least the #cats only need one point. #gotoovertime

@EricLachner: I know how all the fans feel but can you imagine how sick the #FlaPanthers players must feel right now. I bet Flash is not sleeping tonight.

@tvhpanther2: The last 5 #flapanthers games i have been 2 i havent thrown my rat due to losses....unbelievable!

@cochinoChuy: For a former Caps fan and being a displaced Washingtonian myself, clinching the division in DC for my #FlaPanthers would be even sweeter.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Kenyon Rizzo: Disappointing is the biggest understatement iv heard in a while.

Robert Childs: After all these overtime loses this season wouldn't be something for us to not even get to OT in the next 2 games for that "1 point" we need?

Gregory Cordero: Devastating.. but at least Kopecky got us a point!!

Matt Krosin: ‎3 goal lead most dangerous in hockey, look what happened to Toronto tonight, and NJ earlier this year against FL

John Glenn Messick: They need to go beat washington in thier house and Claim the southeast title.


2. Up 3-0, the Panthers surrendered their second three-goal lead of the season in ultimately a losing effort. The other time came with the Panthers up 3-0 on Tampa Bay on Nov. 6 against Tampa Bay (4-3 loss in shootout).

8. Eight different players had multiple point games Tuesday night and five of them came from the Jets side. Florida's two point scorers were Tomas Fleischmann (13th multi-point game of season), Kris Versteeg (12 multi-point game of season) and Marco Sturm (1st multi-point game of season).

10. On a scoring slump, Versteeg continues to find success against the Winnipeg Jets. After not scoring in 15 games, Versteeg notched his career-high 23rd of the season in the first period and then picked up an assist in the second. That gives the forward 10 points in four games against the Jets this season (7-3-10).

18. Despite the overtime loss, the Panthers still did pretty well against Canadian teams this season, picking up points in 18 of a possible 21 games (14-3-4).

30. Picking up the secondary assist on Versteeg's power play goal in the first, Brian Campbell registered his 30th power play helper, upping his franchise record in that category.

Andrew Ladd
The Winnipeg captain certainly led by example, tying the game for the Jets at three early in the third and then giving them the extra point in overtime

 2 Goals, 7 Shots, 18:40 TOI
The Panthers play their last road game of the regular season as they are in Washington DC to take on the Capitals on Thursday night. The top two teams in the Southeast battle it out for the sixth and final time this season with Florida looking to knot the series at three wins a piece (2-3-0). Washington, who enters the game with 88 points with two games to play, is led offensively by Alex Ovechkin (63 points in 76 games) and Alexander Semin (52 points in 75 games). Between the pipes, Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth have seen time. Vokoun holds a 25-17-2 recordd with a .917 save percentage and a 2.51 goals against average while Neuvirth has a 13-13-5 record with a .901 save percentage and a 2.86 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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