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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 2, Wild 1 (SO)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 0 0 1 0 (2-2) 2
Wild 0 1 0 0 (0-2) 1
FLA - PPG - A. Barkov (3)
MIN - PPG - J. Brodin (3)

SUNRISE, FL —  ( - Jonathan Huberdeau and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout as the Florida Panthers beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 at BB&T Center Saturday night.

Boyes ended the game in the bottom of the second round when he deked to his backhand and slid the puck between the legs of Wild goalie Josh Harding. Tim Thomas stopped Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu in the shootout after making 31 saves in regulation and overtime..

"That's exactly what I told the team before the game. I said I'm tired of losing and everyone else agreed that they were too."

- Goalender Tim Thomas on the team being tired of losing.
1. Five-On-Three: With not a lot of great chances at even strength, the teams each had excellent opportunities on the power play, including three five-on-three opportunities throughout the game. Florida had the first five-on-three opportunity but it was only 22 seconds long in the first period. Minnesota had a first period opportunity of their own but that was 28 seconds long. Both penalty kill units easily killed off the power plays. The third period, saw the greatest chance as Minnesota had great pressure in the Florida zone while on a five-on-three power play for 1:19 as Scott Gomez and Brian Campbell sat in the box. After tying the game at one less than a minute earlier, it was a tense time but the penalty killers, led by Thomas killed off the advantage.

2. Tying It Up: While the five-on-three penalty kill units did their jobs, each team did use the power play to record their regulation goals. Jhonas Brodin gave the visitors a 1-0 lead 4:05 into the second period as he scored from the slot. Trailing by that same score in the third, Tomas Fleischmann sent a slap shot in on James Harding. Positioned in front of a defenseman, Aleksander Barkov beautifully redirected the shot high and off the post to knot the score 6:49 into the period. Each team finished the game 1-5 on the man advantage.

3. Complete Victory: Playing a more defensive minded team, the Panthers and Wild did have their chances. Minnesota posted 11, 13 and four shots on net in regulation while the Panthers recorded seven, eight and six shots but Thomas and Harding both stood tall with the exception of the power play markers. Thomas, the busier of the two netminders, came up with big save after big save, using his glove, his pads and anything to keep the Wild off the board. One of those saves even came as time expired. With overtime settling nothing, Thomas was called upon to make the first save against Zach Parise, which he did with help from the post and Jonathan Huberdeau beautifully deked out Harding for the eventual game-winner as Brad Boyes also scored in the second round and Thomas denied Mikko Koivu in the top half of the second round for the Cats victory.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@KatieKat_69: I'll be having sweet dreams of a @FlaPanthers victory tonight! #GoPanthers

@RobMc82: Awesome win by the @FlaPanthers tonight! Still waiting to see @Barkovsasha95 in the shootout, but I'll take it!

@JarrodCliff: First @NHL game ever and I got to see a shootout. Had a blast at the @FlaPanthers game. #NewNHLFan

@kelsey1344: Now feel obligated to go to all of the next @FlaPanthers games. They are now 2-0 with us going!

@D_Rangel21: #HubyDoobyDoing 'em dirty with the dangles in the shootout! @FlaPanthers #GotThatDub

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Gabriel Nagy: Huberdeau+Barkov=Our bright future...Good game Panthers!

Stewart-Allen Clark: Happy for Tim Thomas & the Catz!

Cain Smith: Congratulations to Tim Thomas and the Panthers. Huberdeau and Boyes, very impressive moves.

Patrick Tague: solid game tonight, and a quality win. there were some stretches where the wild forecheck was making us look terrible but they gutted it out.

Katy Gallagher: That was quite an exciting game!!! GO CATS!!!

2. With the Cats trailing in the third, Aleksander Barkov tied the game with a sweet redirect for his third goal of the season. It was his second power play goal of the year, following his game-winner against Pittsburgh in the home opener on Oct. 11.

3. The Panthers outhit the Wild 28-22 and it was a team effort as five different skaters finished with a team-high three hits a piece (Shawn Matthias, Scottie Upshall, Erik Gudbranson, Marcel Goc and Tomas Kopecky)

5. Each team had their chances on the power play as they went 1-for-5. Florida went 1-for-5 on 7:18 of extra man time while Minnesota was 1-for-5 on 6:23 of time.

 A good day in the face-off circle for the Panthers as they won 37-of-69 draws on the day, led by Nick Bjugstad's 67% (6-of-9) and Goc's 60% (15-of-25).

79. It was a long kill. To be down two men for 1:19 (79 seconds) in the third with the game tied at one, the penalty killers, led by Thomas did a great job of doing just that as Minnesota piled up four shots on the man advantage.

Tim Thomas
Was spectacular from the beginning all the way until the final stop against Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu.

30 Saves, 31 Shots, .968 SV%
Florida will have two days off, including an NHL mandatory day off on Sunday, before hosting the third game of their season long six-game home stand against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago also played Saturday night, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 to run their record to 5-1-2. Offensively, the Hawks are led by second-year forward Brandon Saad (2-4-6) along with Marian Hossa, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Patrick Kane (five points each) while Corey Crawford has a 4-1-2 record with a .922 save percentage and 2.07 GAA.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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