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Panthers Wrap-Up: Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 0

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Maple Leafs 2 2 0 0 4
NYR - L. Komarov (4), C. MacArthur (8), P. Kessel (18), P. Kessel (19)

SUNRISE, Fla —  (AP) - Phil Kessel scored two goals to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Florida Panthers 4-0 on Thursday.

Clarke MacArthur and Leo Komarov also scored for the Maple Leafs. James Reimer stopped 34 shots for his fourth shutout of the season. Nazem Kadri had a pair of assists..

"I think we had some hard lessons learned tonight. You play a good game and you have to understand why your opponent has had success. They’re an aggressive, physical team that also has some speed. We’d like to mimic some characteristics of other hockey teams and I don’t think we did a good enough job tonight."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Off The Rebound: Florida had a couple of shots early but it was the Leafs jumping on the board first. They scored on their second shot but on the same play as the first as Leo Komarov followed up on Jay McClement's inital shot on Jacob Markstrom to give Toronto the lead 5:39 into the game. Toronto kept the pressure on in the first, posting 11 shots on toal compared to Florida's five. The Leafs would hold a 2-0 lead after the first as they scored on another rebound with 5:28 left when Clarke MacArthur scored off Matt Frattin's shot off the rush. 

2. From Kadri To Kessel: The second period was more of the Leafs as they scored twice in a three minute span and it was the first line doing the honors. 1:41 into the middle stanza, Alex Petrovic sent a cross-ice pass just out of the reach of Peter Mueller on a Panthers rush and the Leafs turned around and the Leafs stormed down the ice. On a 2-on-1 break, Nazem Kadri passed it over to Phil Kessel and the Leafs leading scorer slammed home the puck for a 3-0 lead. Exactly three minutes later, the duo combined for a four-goal lead as Kessel followed up on another rebound goal off Kadri's shot from in close.

3. End On A Low Note: The Panthers certainly had their chances to get on the board against the Maple Leafs as they recorded 34 shots on James Reimer. Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore and Quinton Howden had 10 of those shots but the Leafs netminder was strong in shutting out the Panthers. For the end of the home portion, it was not a great sendoff to the home fans at the BB&T Center as the Panthers couldn't find a way to get on the board. Florida ensured a top two pick in the upcoming draft but the win would have been that much better to send the Panthers fans away happy, at least in the short term.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@alos841: @FlaPanthers it's been a privilege watching you play at home this year, can't wait for next season.

@JessHerman22: @FlaPanthers you will always be my favorite team. Tough loss, but always have love for you guys.

@darketernaldays: Thanks @FlaPanthers for this shortened season, yall still the best in my eyes #isitoctoberyet #7thman

@Doischen: @FlaPanthers Returning home from the game after the disappointing loss. But still #BelieveRed can't wait for October! Go panthers!

@henris55: After watching @FlaPanthers #rookies @qhowden21, @drew_shore15, Alex Petrovic, @j_markstrom, @NBjugstad72, and @JonnyHuby11....

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Jake Carter: Call me crazy but I got my tickets for the game in tampa. Try to end with a win boys, we started with one

John Kuniyoshi: Panthers will be back healthy and strong next season. Just enjoy your win tonight Leafs because it won't be easy next season!!!!

Brian Hernandez: I'm still a believer! I was there tonight! We just need some polishing! Next season is our season! Red Rising baby!

Rrrrwwaaarrrrr!!!!!! Laurie Gartshore Irving: We can still end the season with a win. Will be watching Saturday !

Debbie Fritz: Quincy Come back healthy & strong next year!

3. In a matter of three minutes early in the second period, the game went from still a relatively close game (2-0) to one that was out of reach as Phil Kessel struck twice during that span (1:41, 3:41).

 The Panthers had 16 penalty minutes in the game. Defenseman Alex Petrovic had all but two of them as Filip Kuba earned a minor penalty. Petrovic finished with four minutes in roughing penalties with 1:10 left in the second and then a 10 minute misconduct with 5:14 remaining in the third. 

 Despite falling 4-0, the Panthers actually had the better of it in shots as they doubled the Leafs production, outshooting them 34-17. Toronto just was accurate on their shots when they took the chances.

The Maple Leafs were a busy bunch in the block category as they had 20 of them in the game compared to Florida's six on the night. Colton Orr and Cody Franson each finished with a game-high three. 

 The Leafs were a hitting force as they finished the game with a combined 45 hits compared to Florida's 31 on the night. Forward Matt Frattin finished with a game-high six hits while fellow forward Nikolai Kulemin had five hits.

James Reimer
Kessel may have scored twice but Reimer held the Panthers at bay in stopping 5, 13 and 16 shots, including many on close rebound chances.

34 Shots, 34 Saves, 1.000 SV%
The Panthers play one last game for the 2013 season as they cross the state to take on in-state rivals Tampa Bay. The Lightning who like the Panthers were expected to have a good season, certainly had a roller-coaster season that ended with another playoffless season. That despite one of the highest scoring teams with averaging 3.09 goals a game. They're led offensively by the ageless wonder Martin St Louis (58 points in 47 games) and sniper Steven Stamkos (56 points in 47 games). With the trade deadline addition of Ben Bishop, they've used four netminders between the pipes this season. Anders Lindback who has battled injuries, has the best GAA at 2.88 and the most wins at 10-8-1 while Bishop has the highest win percentage at .917.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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