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Panthers Wrap-Up: Jets 7, Panthers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 2 0 0 0 2
Jets 3 3 1 0 7
FLA - T. Brennan (3), T. Fleischmann (9)
WPG - A. Gagnon (2), E. Kane (15), A. Ladd (16), PP - G. Clitsome (4), D. Byfuglien (7), E. Kane (16), C. Thorburn (2)

WINNIPEG —  (AP) - Evander Kane scored two goals and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Florida Panthers 7-2 on Thursday night to tie the New York Rangers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Aaron Gagnon, Andrew Ladd, Grant Clitsome, Dustin Byfuglien and Chris Thorburn also scored to help Winnipeg win its third straight and increase its points total to 44. The Jets are two points behind Southeast Division-leading Washington.

"There's lots of different things we can point at. I think the whole game didn't go for us."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen when asked about where the game began to go wrong.
1. High Flying First: A late start to the game didn't hurt a late start to the goal-scoring parade as the Panthers and Jets combined for five goals in the opening 20 minutes. Four of them were scored within a two-and-a-half minute span early on. The Panthers killed off an early Jets power play but couldn't stop Winnipeg from getting on the board first as A. Gagnon scored 3:54 off redirect of a Blake Wheeler shot from the point. Defenseman TJ Brennan answered less than a minute later off a long wrist shot as Marcel Goc provided a screen on the fly by (4:46 in). Evander Kane responded just 18 seconds later off the feed from Olli Jokinen. Tying it up once again, this time it was Tomas Fleischmann scoring into the wide open net off the cross-ice feed from Brennan as Tomas Kopecky and a Jet defenseman took Ondrej Pavelec out of the play. The Jets would hold the lead after 20 however on a nice cross-ice feed as captain Andrew Ladd scored off the pass from Bryan Little.

2. Out Of Hand Second: After playing a back-and-forth game with the Jets in the first, the Panthers couldn't keep ground with the hosts in the second. Winnipeg pulled away with three goals in a 1:52 span, sending Scott Clemmensen in relief for Jacob Markstrom. It was Grant Clitsome scoring after his initial shot was blocked by Erik Gudbranson to make it a 4-2 game with 9:55 to play in the period. Then Dustin Byfuglien sent a blast from the point, scoring just under the bar 28 seconds later. Kane then netted his second of the game, getting ahold of the puck on the rush as the puck was just out of the reach of a diving Markstrom and the Jets forward deposited it into the back of the net. That was the end of Markstrom's night. The second period ended with the Panthers taking back-to-back penalties as George Parros was given four minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct with 2:39 left and Erik Gudbranson given a match penalty for his hit on Little in the corner.

3. Moving On: Winnipeg added a third period goal from Chris Thorburn as he tipped Ron Hainsey's past Clemmensen 11:52 into the third. A 7-2 final, it was the last game the two teams will compete as Division foes. Next season Winnipeg moves to the Western Conference in realignment. This season the Jets got the best of the Panthers, winning the season-series in taking of three of the five games but the teams tied in points as Florida picked up two points in two of their three losses. Florida will have to bounce back as well. Having played great of late (4-1) in their last five games prior to Thursday's setback, they'll have a big task in hand on Saturday against Pittsburgh.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Apsit3: We don't care about the score! We were so proud of @qhowden21 playing for the @FlaPanthers tonight here in Winnipeg! #GreatGame #MadeUsProud

@ItsErica_JoBroo: @FlaPanthers all I can do is laugh at this loss.n wait for the next,hope the cats can do the same,get over it n bounce back sat. #PanthersTV

@laura_ramirez13: Just going to pretend this game never happen  #FlaPanthers

@Celine_Vezina: I think I cried a little after tonight's @FlaPanthers game :( We deserved that win.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Mike Barychko: Anytime you lose 7-2 it is no fun. Maybe next time.

Riley Destin: maybe next season for the cats

Ge Ne: That was painful

Elias Cardenas: tough loss but Im still a Panthers Fan!!!!!!!

John Tipp: Holly crap that was bad.

2. The Panthers scored twice in the opening period and TJ Brennan and Tomas Fleischmann had a hand in both of the goals as they took turns setting each other up.

3. The Jets offense was going as they scored three goals in each of the first two periods. Four Jets players had two points along the way with Evander Kane (two goals), Andrew Ladd (goal, assist), Dustin Byfuglien (goal, assist) and Bryan Little (two assists) each picking up the points.

Having almost nine minutes of power play time, the Jets posted 14 shots while on the man advantage (8:48), scoring on just one of their five opportunities. Florida did kill off a full two minute 5-on-3 man advantage late in the second and early in the third.

There was a lot of scoring in the opening period with four of thegoals coming within a three minute span. Two of them were scored 18 seconds apart as Brennan's equalizer at one was answered by Evander Kane's goal at the 5:04 mark.

Picking up six penalty minutes Thursday night, enforcer George Parros collected the 1,000th PIM of his NHL career, becoming the 21st active skater to accomplish that feat. He did so in 444 games, including 52 minutes in 32 games with Florida..

Evander Kane
Had a huge goal to answer the Panthers first goal, scoring 18 seconds later for the 2-1 lead and then put the game away with their sixth of the night.

2 Goals, 2 Points, +2, 4 Shots, 19:20 TOI
The Panthers return for their third to last home game of the regular season as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. The Penguins recently sewn up an Atlantic Division Championship and sit atop the Eastern Conference in points. Pittsburgh also played Thursday night, downing the Lightning in Tampa by a 6-3 final to run their record to 31-10-0. They're led offensively by Chris Kunitz (21-26-47) and James Neal (18-14-32) with their captain Sidney Crosby (15-41-56) out of the lineup. Marc-Andre Fleury (20-6-0) and former Panther Tomas Vokoun (10-4-0) share the duties between the pipes.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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