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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 2, Jets 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 1 0 0 2
Jets 0 1 0 0 1
FLA - PPG - K. Versteeg (20), S. Bergenheim (8)

WPG - B. Little (12)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Sean Bergenheim scored a go-ahead goal in the second period and the Florida Panthers beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 Friday night.

Kris Versteeg also scored a goal for Florida, while Scott Clemmensen stopped 20 shots.

"You know, with the last two games, every game if you look at our record the last two months, so many tight games, close games. I like the idea that we’re building up some resiliency, some character. I think that it will pay off for us down the line. I think that that’s a good thing for us right now. You know we’d like to have a game where we have a little breathing room but we’re getting used to these kinds of games and it’s the nature of the league right now."

- Panthers coach Kevin Dineen
1. VerBeauty Continues Dominance Of The Jets: It's ashame that the Panthers can't play the Jets all 82 games in the season. Well that's what Kris Versteeg might want anyways. Missing Wednesday's game due to the flu and still not feeling a 100%, Versteeg returned to the lineup and made his presence felt. With the Panthers on their first power play of the night, Brian Campbell dropped a pass from the slot back to Mikael Samuelsson who fired it over to Versteeg above the left face-off circle. The winger one-timed the shot past a screening Tomas Kopecky and then Jets netminder Chris Mason for the goal with 4:14 left on the clock of the first period. It was Versteeg's team-leading 20th of the season. Versteeg has dominated Winnipeg this season, picking up eight points on six goals and two assists in the last three games of the series (four total this season). That includes his first career hat trick (3-1-4) on November 10th in Winnipeg and kind of a second hat trick (two goals in regulation plus shootout goal) on January 21st, also in Winnipeg.

2. Action Packed Five Minutes: Looking for a spark midway through the second period, tough guys Krys Barch (Florida) and Chris Thorburn provided it as the two forwards dropped the gloves. Thorburn got the upper hand in the early going throwing a bevy of punches before Barch found his footing and landed some of his own before the two slammed to the ice with 9:01 left on the clock. That seemed to jumpstart the offensive play and the Jets took advantage quickly. Putting pressure on the Cats defense, Andrew Ladd caused a turnover along the boards and found Bryan Little. The forward fired a shot far side while attacking the net to tie the game just 30 seconds after the fight. The Panthers didn't allow the game to be tied for long. Jason Garrison fired a pass along the boards from the point to Marcel Goc behind the net. The center swiveled and then found Sean Bergenheim stationed in front of the net. There the forward banged home the pass past Mason for a 2-1 lead with 5:33 left on the clock.

3. Playing Suffocating Defense: Bergenheim's goal in the second period stood up as the game-winner in as the two teams combined for just three goals on the night. Playing a team that was playing in the second of back-to-back games, the Panthers defense did a great job in limiting the Jets chances throughout the entire night. Scott Clemmensen saw just 21 shots in all and while tested from time to time, rarely had to face second and third chances as the Panthers defense cleared away the rebounds if the netminder didn't stop the puck cold in the first place. Winnipeg had six shots on net in the first, another eight in the second and even though they were trailing by a goal in the third, managed just seven, including two in the final minute and a half with Mason pulled for the extra attacker. It was the third fewest shots allowed to date this season, one off the season low of 20 accomplished against the Rangers (Nov. 23rd) and Sabres (Dec. 9th).
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@GrantWishner12: #NothingFeelsBetterThan watching the #FlaPanthers pull of a great win for the hometown crowd! #WeSeeRed

@TylerSmith80: Panthers win! Big 2 points tonight. #1stPlaceCats #FlaPanthers

@hlamp: Let's go Panthers chant was loud on TV. Way to go #flapanthers fans

@TimmyConway18: @FlaPanthers knock em down thats how we stay up!!! Go Panthers!!!! #FlaPanthers

@StevenMyones: #Clemmers is a brick wall. #FlaPanthers have a #1 goalie! excited for the drive tomorrow to tampa to see the @FlaPanthers take on the bolts

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Sebastian Lovas: Huge win tonight, yet another stellar performance from Clemmer. Versteeg is an anti-air missile lol

Jeff Main: Thank you Clemmensen for another great performance! Thank you Panthers for another WIN!!!!!!!!!

Joe Fiore: Man, Clemmensen was a wall again tonight. This is what we need. Games with a lot of chances and shots. Fantastic game and it's good to know we have a bigger lead in the Southeast Division. Good PP and PK. We just have to keep this up and we'll be golden

Fredrik Charles Holmberg: Steeger what a jets killer!

Gregory Cordero: Great win Cats! lets keep it rolling!


3. Picking up assists on Kris Versteeg's first period goal (see below), both Mikael Samuelsson and Brian Campbell stretched their point streaks to three games each. Samuelsson has four points over that time (3-1-4) while Campbell has picked up assists in each contest.

4. Recording the game's first goal with 4:14 left in the first on the power play, Kris Versteeg notched his 20th of the season. Versteeg has recorded at least 20 goals in each of his first four full seasons in the NHL, posting 22, 20, 21 and now 20.

6. Forward Sean Bergenheim must have been tired after firing a game-high six shots on net. That total was two more than the closest player on either team. One of those turned into the game-winner, his first as a Panther.

9. The Panthers extended the Jets misery in back-to-back games as Winnipeg fell for the ninth time in nine tries in the second game of back-to-backs. The Jets have been outscored 36 to 7 over that span.

Center Marcel Goc was a busy man in the face-off circle for the Panthers, taking part in 23 of the 63 draws (36.5%). Goc won an impressive 61% of them (14 of 23).

Kris Versteeg
It's hard to argue with a guy that hasn't played in 10 days and still wasn't a hundred percent when battling the flu yet coming in and scoring the first goal and playing a game-high (among forwards) 20:20 of ice time.

1 Goal, 4 Shots, 1 Hit, -1, 20:20 TOI
The Panthers are right back at it as they head across state to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. It will be the sixth and final time the cross-state rivals battle this season. Florida is 2-1-2 against Tampa while the Bolts are 3-1-1 against the Cats. Tampa has won the last three meetings in this year's series. Three of the games have gone past regulation. Tampa Bay which lost it's last game 2-1 in overtime Thursday night against Winnipeg is led offensively by sniper Steven Stamkos who has 33 goals and 55 points in 50 games. The Bolts other offensive forces i clude Martin St Louis (46 points in 45 games) and Vincent Lecavalier (40 points in 50 games). Between the pipes, Mathieu Garon has seen the majority of the games, posting a 15-13-3 record with a .902 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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