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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 2, Canucks 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 2 0 0 2
CANUCKS 1 0 0 0 1
FLA - D. Kulikov (4), PPG - M. Goc (4)

VAN - D. Weise (3)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Marcel Goc scored the tiebreaking goal midway throught he second period and the Florida Panthers beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Monday night.

Goc also had an assist as the Panthers won for just the third time in nine games. Dmitry Kulikov scored the Panthers' first goal and Scott Clemmensen finished with 25 saves.

"We believe that we can beat anyone in the league on any given night...We expect to win and that's a good thing. You feel those losses no matter who they're against. Vancouver's one of the best teams in the league and we think we can beat them and we showed it tonight. It's the mentality of this team...we don't expect to compete, we expect to win."

- Goaltender Scott Clemmensen on the Panthers beating good teams.
1. Great Effort For A Goal: Tied at one midway through the second period, the Panthers found themselves on their second power play of the night. After some consistent pressure on the Canucks, the Panthers cashed in for the go-ahead goal with 10:52 gone on the clock. It started with a great pass cross the ice from Mikael Samuelsson to Kris Versteeg. While Versteeg couldn't handle the original pass, he was able to still coral the puck before sending it to Marcel Goc. The Panthers forward, falling to the ice put a shot on Roberto Luongo. Fighting for position in the crease, the puck pingponged around before Tomas Kopecky kicked the puck back out to Goc. Still not on his skates, Goc slid the puck past Luongo for the 2-1 lead. A great effort by all the Panthers players on the ice.

2. Clemmensen Up To The Task: The Canucks scored on their first shot of the night as Dale Weise beat Scott Clemmensen on a two-on-none break, scoring off a pass from Manny Malhotra 3:11 into the game. From there it was Clemmensen's time as he turned aside the last 25 Vancouver shots to record his fifth victory of the season. The Panthers netminder was great all night (as he had no chance on the Canucks goal). His first big stop came against Weise broke in all alone with 1:46 to play. A chance to go up 2-0, Weise was denied by Clemmensen with a stop in his pads. While he wasn't as busy in the second period (two shots seen), Clemmensen saved his best hockey for the last period, turning aside 14 shots as Vancouver brought the kitchen sink. One of the bigger stops of the period came with Ryan Kesler looking to finish off a 2-on-1 rush. Clemmensen got over just enough to deny Kesler with his left pad for the save with 8:35 to go in the game.

3. Gritty Win Over Top Team In West: Vancouver entered Monday night's game with 55 points in 42 games. That was good enough for best in the West, two ahead of Detroit and just one point back of the New York Rangers for best record in the league. Florida got off to a fast start in the first few minutes but a giveaway led to the game's first goal. That was it for the high-powered Canucks. Florida was a force in the second, outshooting Vancouver 14-2 and then held up defensively as they were conversely outshot 14-2 in the third. It didn't matter as the defense and Clemmensen shut the door and the Panthers special teams won the battle in getting the power play goal from Goc (1 for 3 on the night) while shutting down the Canucks man advantage (0 for 3). The Panthers defense did such a great job on shutting down Vancouver's top offensive forces (Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Kesler) that they held the trio (combined for 126 points entering the night) to six shots on night including holding Henrik shotless.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@TylerSmith80: Got on the jumbotron and saw the #FlaPanthers win 2-1 with @HDPat28 #Accomplished #WeSeeRed

@PantherSpoon: What a win for #FlaPanthers and a great way to start the homestand! Clemm is the man! #weseered #weseerats

@JacobwBynum: Thank you @FlaPanthers for bringing home the big win! Amazing game. #FlaPanthers #BelieveRED #WeSeeRed Sunny with a chance of #Rats

@CochinoChuy: When the #FlaPanthers win, all is right with my world! #WeSeeRats

@TKON: Can't believe I watched the entire #FLAPanthers #Canucks game but FLA is fun to watch.Probably the worst game I've seen the Sedins ever play

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Joanne Ruimy: Great Great game, Clemmensen was stellar, everyone played awesome, but I dont know why instead of shooting the puck they pass it a few times to each other! Anyways I love my Team GO PANTHERSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

Diana Smith: Clemmensen was on fire!!!

Robby Chiste: Great W! Super defense in the 3rd period and an awesome game for Clem too, my rat reached the ice from the 400 level!

Andreas Bergh: Great team effort, beating one of the leagues best teams is never easy. Clemmer was brilliant, so was the line Goc line.
Great boost for the team, let's sweep this home stand.

Dave G.: Strong game overall. The team can only get better when the rest of the regulars come back!

1. It only took one shot for the Canucks to get on the board and it was due to a turnover in the Panthers zone that sent Manny Malhotra and Dale Weise in on Scott Clemmensen on a 2-on-0 break. Weise finished the play for the goal. Florida had four shots on net at the time of the goal 3:11 into the game.

1. Florida has had limited success against the netminder that sits atop the franchise's leaderboard in several goaltending categories. Entering the night, Roberto Luongo had posted a 5-0-1 record against the Panthers. Despite 20 saves, Luongo suffered his first regulation defeat (second overall) against his former team.

The Panthers completely shut down the Canucks offense in the second period, allowing Vancouver just two shots on net. Florida on the other hand had 14 shots on net in the middle frame. Vancouver flipped the tables on Florida in the third as they outshot the Panthers 14-2.

4. Trailing by a goal, the Panthers netted two in the second as they got their fourth of the season from Dmitry Kulikov five minutes in and then Marcel Goc's fourth gave them a 2-1 lead at the 10:52 mark.

11. The Cats have enjoyed a lot of success at home of late. With the win, the Panthers have now collected points in 11 of their last 13 contests played in Sunrise (9-2-2).

Scott Clemmensen
Allowed a goal on the first shot but was huge the rest of the way in stopping the next 25 straight. Made several huge stops to keep Panthers in it before they were able to get on scoreboard.

26 Shots, 25 Saves, .962 SV%
It's another mini break for the Panthers as they'll have three days off before their next game on Friday. When they return to action, Florida will host the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh has lost their last four straight. That followed four straight wins for the Pens. Their last three games have all come as a 3-1 final with them falling to the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils on consecutive days to start the new year. Dealing with a multitude of injuries throughout the season (see captain Sidney Crosby and center Jordan Staal), the Penguins are led offensively by Evgeni Malkin (44 points in 33 games) and James Neal (36 points in 40 games).  Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury holds a 19-11-2 record with a 2.31 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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