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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 2, Canadiens 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 2 0 0 2
Canadiens 0 0 1 0 1
FLA - J. Winchester (5), N. Bjugstad (6)
MTL - PPG - A. Galchenyuk (10)

MONTREAL —  ( - Jesse Winchester and Nick Bjugstad scored 2:27 apart in the second period and Scott Clemmensen took care of the rest, stopping 17 shots to lead the Florida Panthers a 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

The Panthers (12-17-5) have won three straight and five of six to move within three points of the idle Ottawa Senators for sixth place in the Atlantic Division.

"The guys were just selling out, blocking shots, doing everything they could…We don't get down. i think that's been the biggest difference, just the way we battle and the way we expect to win these games and it's obviously belief in yourself and each other."

- Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen.
1. On The Attack: Playing a team that played the night before, the Panthers came out strong in Montreal, getting some prime scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes. If not for the play of Peter Budaj, the Cats could have been up a goal or two easily. Tomas Fleischmann had the best opportunity after being set up by a great cross-ice pass from Scottie Upshall but Budaj slid across and got over just in time to deny Fleischmann. A shift later, he robbed Brad Boyes who was all alone in front of the net. The Panthers kept play in the Canadiens zone and peppered Budaj with 14 shots, doubling up Montreal in the shots department but it was still scoreless after the first.

2. Two In Period Two: The Panthers would not be denied in the second like they were in the first, striking for two goals within a two and a half minute span. First it was Tomas Kopecky along the boards finding Jesse Winchester in front of the net as the forward, in the lineup for an injured Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body) who couldn't go, banged home the first goal of the game 4:44 into the period. Then it was a goal of beauty, starting in the Panthers zone. Upshall found Fleischmann who in turn found Nick Bjugstad. The big center toed the line to stay onside before crashing the net and sniping the puck short side for a 2-0 lead at the 7:11 mark.

3. Gutting Out The Win: Penalty troubles hit in the third period and they started early with Sean Bergenheim sent to the box for interference 1:12 in. The Canadiens made it a 2-1 game as Alex Galchenyuk scored on his third attempt from in close after Scott Clemmensen denied him on the first two chances. Luckily, that would be it as the penalty killers did heir job in killing off two penalties in the final 10 minutes of play, including a 5-on-3 man advantage of 35 seconds. The puck found it's way past Budaj with less than three minutes to play but video replay showed that Brad Boyes kicked the puck in. That would give the Canadiens some hope but the Panthers skaters came to the aid of Clemmensen, throwing their bodies in front of Montreal shots, including huge blocks by Mike Weaver and Winchester in the dying seconds. Not to be forgotten, Dmitry Kulikov came up huge earlier in the period, denying Galchenyuk a good look at an open net while on the power play. It was another big win as the Panthers look to claw their way back into the playoff race, now winning five of their last six games and three straight.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@codyjohnsun: These @FlaPanthers victories are getting me through finals.

@eadie30: @FlaPanthers win 5 of 6 #GoCats

@ottttter: Congratulations @NBjugstad72 on the winning goal! @FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Jeff Carter: Clem has really stepped up for this team. I don't even recognize these guys anymore and I like it!

Paola Tedeschi: Great defense ! Another win! Yessssss!!!!

Zachary Bruckner: The defensive effort is what impresses me!

2. Starting between the pipes for the second straight game, Scott Clemmensen did his part in stopping 17 shots for his second straight victory of the season.

3. With the 2-1 win in Montreal, Florida has now won three straight, the first time this season they have won three straight.

5. In the lineup with Jonathan Huberdeau out with a lower body injury, Jesse Winchester picked up the offense, getting the Cats on the board early in the second with his now career-high fifth goal of the season.

22. The Panthers did their part in helping out Clemmensen as they combined for 22 blocked shots, including several late. Blueliners Brian Campbell (4), Mike Weaver (3) and Dmitry Kulikov (3) led the way.

200. Helping set up the Panthers eventual game-winner, forward Scottie Upshall picked up his team-leading 18th point on the season and 200th of his NHL career.

Jesse Winchester
A lot of great choices after this one but Winchester got the Panthers scoring started in the second and then had a huge blocked shot with time winding down in the game.

1 Goal, 1 Point, +1, 2 Shots, 2 Blocked Shots, 14:13 TOI
Florida continues their four-game Canadian road trip on Tuesday night as they head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. Toronto has picked up 37 points (17-14-3) in their first 34 games and sit fifth in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs will play in Pittsburgh Monday night before hosting the Panthers. Forwards Phil Kessel (32 points in 34 games) and James Van Riemsdyk (26 points in 32 games) lead the way offensively while Jonathan Bernier (10-10-2, .925 SV%) and James Reimer (7-4-1, .928 SV%) have shared the duties between the pipes. 

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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