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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 3, Canadiens 2 (SO)

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 1 0 1 0 1-2 3
Canadiens 1 1 0 0 0-3 2
FLA - W. Wolski (4), M. Samuelsson (12), SO - W. Wolski
MTL - PP - E. Cole (31), L. Leblanc (5)
MONTREAL (AP) - Wojtek Wolski carried the Florida Panthers to a big lead in the division on a night their closest rival lost.

Wolski scored in regulation and added the only goal of the shootout to help the Florida Panthers boost their playoff hopes with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

"You don't critique wins too bad. I really liked our bite in the third period when we were down. We were tenacious and confident. We just kept pushing."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Early Lead, Later Deficit: Playing in a raucous atmosphere against a team playing for pride, the Panthers and Canadiens traded chances in the opening period. Florida got on the board first as Wojtek Wolski scored with 6:56 left in the period as he looked off a potential pass on the rush and roofed the puck over Carey Price. The lead wouldn't last long however. Working on a power play, Erik Cole put home a rebound just 56 seconds later. Deadlocked at one after one, the Panthers controlled play in the second period, outshooting the home team 12-4 but found themselves trailing as Louis Leblanc scored on a three-on-zero break, beating Scott Clemmensen with 1:03 left on the clock. Florida had outshot the Canadiens 24-16 through the first two periods yet found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 score.

2. Continuing To Fight Back: With the way Price was playing, it looked like two goals would be enough for the Habs as he constantly denied the Panthers the equalizer. He had several beautiful saves on the night, especially in the third. The Panthers kept throwing pucks at the net and were finally rewarded with 7:12 left on the clock. The play started with a nice rush up the ice by defenseman Erik Gudbranson. Then Mikael Samuelsson received the puck and fired a shot from just inside the blueline. A screened Price couldn't see the top shelf shot and the Panthers had tied the game. Both teams had a power play chance in the final 11 minutes of play but couldn't find the go-ahead goal.

3. Taking Care Of Business: Deadlocked after sixty, the teams played through a scoreless overtime, taking the game to the shootout. Jose Theodore had a long chat with Wolski prior to the one-on-one session and the planning paid off. After David Desharnais missed his attempt wide off from in close, Wolski skated in and made a beautiful move to beat Price for the goal. Clemmensen stopped Tomas Plekanec on the Habs second shot and Leblanc missed on his opportunity and the Panthers pulled off a come-from-behind victory. That, coupled with a Capitals regulation defeat to the Sabres moved the Panthers five points up in the division race. The Capitals have just five games remaining on the schedule while the Panthers have six.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@DRokSH: Simplest way for #FlaPanthers to wrap up playoff spot is to win three of last six games, there are other ways that it can happen though

@TylerSmith80: Hey @WojtekWolski86 thank you for the big time #FlaPanthers win! Keep playing hard and digging deep! #WeSeePlayoffs

@BluLiner55: Goodnight all. I'm going to enjoy my dreams of #FlaPanthers goals, winning fights, hops and shootout wins.

@Weinsteinlaw: It's about time! MT @TrendsMiami: #flapanthers now trending in #Miami

@J_Mar3: #flapanthers tour of canadian destruction rolls on!!!

Memorable fan posts from the game.

David Kessler: Sweeping the season series from Montreal & Toronto-priceless!

Mitch Phillips: The Wolski storyline last night was epic. Loved the collaboration with Jose to help formulate the winning shoot out goal!

Joanne Ruimy: Just watched the recap again i love it!!!!!!

Jim Janoff: They still need goal scoring, but this is a big win.

Matt Cacciola: Big win boys!!! Keep it up


4. There's a first time for everything. Winning at the Bell Centre, the Panthers completed a four-game season series sweep of the Canadiesns. It was the first time in franchise history that Florida swept Montreal in a season series.

One of the main reasons for the victory, Scott Clemmensen turned aside 27 shots for his 13th victory of the season. The win also boosts his career record to a perfect 6-0-0 against the Habs.

14. The Panthers continued their dominance against Canadian teams this season. Led by season sweeps of Montreal and Toronto, Florida is 14-3-3 against teams north of the border. They have one more game (Winnipeg - Apr. 3).

56. Scoreless after the first 13 minutes of the game, the two teams scored 56 seconds apart. Wojtek Wolski's goal gave the Panthers a lead 13:04 in while Erik Cole answered at the 14 minute mark.

200. Forward Shawn Matthias skated in his 200th career game. Winning 12-of-15 on the draw, Matthias has set a career high in terms of goals (10), assists (14), points (24), PIM (49) and games played (74).

Wojtek Wolski
Got the Panthers on the board in the first period and then scored the only goal in the shootout to provide the extra point.

 1 Goal, +1, 3 Shots, 19:15 TOI
Florida continues their four-game road trip with the first of two back-to-backs. Thursday night, the Panthers will be in Minnesota looking for their second straight victory at the Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota earned a 3-2 shootout victory in Sunrise in the two teams other meeting earlier in the season. The Wild are led offensively by Danny Heatley (48 points in 76 games) and Kyle Brodziak (42 points in 76 games). Between the pipes, both Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have seen the pipes. Backstrom holds a 17-17-6 record with a .920 save percentage and a 2.44 goals against average while Harding has a 11-12-4 record with a .918 save percentage and a 2.64 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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