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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 3, Canucks 2 (Shootout)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 1 0 1 0 1-2 3
Canucks 0 1 1 0 0-3 2
FLA - PPG - B. Boyes (8), S. Matthias (3), SO - J. Huberdeau
VAN - C. Higgins (7), J. Hansen (3)

VANCOUVER, BC —  ( - Tim Thomas got the best of the Vancouver Canucks.


Thomas made 27 saves through the end of overtime, and stopped all three shots in the shootout, setting the stage for Jonathan Huberdeau to win it with the only goal of the shootout and lifting the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 victory against the Canucks on Tuesday night.

"It was 1-1 going into the third and then they scored the goal but we we didn't give up. We have to come back. It's an important two points and we found a way to win in the shootout...Tim Thomas was great."

- Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau to Fox Sports Florida.
1. The Lead Again: For the second straight game, the Panthers took control of play in the first period and were rewarded with a lead after 20 minutes of play and it came off the stick of Brad Boyes. On Saturday, Boyes scored just after a Panthers power play came to an end. This time there was no mistake of it and it came off a hustle opportunity on the third chance for the Cats. With Jannik Hansen in the box for goaltender interference, the Panthers had Roberto Luongo down and out of position. Collecting the rebound, rookie Aleksander Barkov put his shot off the far post but the puck found Boyes' stick who deposited it into the wide open net. The goal came just 3:43 into the game as the Cats took advantage of the power play. 

2. Getting Behind: Florida controlled most of play in the first and in the second it was Vancouver that flipped the switch, keeping the Panthers in their own zone for large amounts of time. Similarly to the first, the Canucks scored early in the period, this time to tie the game. Former Panthers Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins combined to haunt their old team as Higgins scored five-hole from outside the crease with 3:26 gone off the clock. The Canucks would take the lead off a turnover early in the third. Hansen intercepted a pass up the middle by Matt Gilroy and went top shelf on Thomas for their first lead of the game 2:45 into the third.

3. Comeback Once Again: The third period has been good to the Panthers at least in terms of scoring. Heading into the game they were third in the league in third period scoring and trailing early in the period, the Cats got a huge goal to tie it up with over 11 minutes to play. A heads up play by Nick Bjugstad, the big center fended off a Canucks defender, spun and found a wide open Shawn Matthias from who's one-timer from the slot went top shelf to knot the game. Florida outshot Vancouver 11-4 in the third but couldn't find the winner. They had an even better opportunity in overtime as they headed to the power play a minute in but couldn't convert. This one would go to the shootout where Thomas foiled all three Canucks shooters and Jonathan Huberdeau scored the game winner on a pretty deke on the first Panthers attempt giving Florida their second straight victory and third in the last four games.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@penelopekill: @FlaPanthers ...that's how you play great hockey. Way to go boys

@cdoolz13: Cannot believe the @FlaPanthers pulled that one out. This is a TOTALLY different team. #weactuallywontwoinarow

@Chrishowrad: I'm so happy I stayed up for the end of the Panthers game! Another big road win. #redrising @FlaPanthers

@FloridaMetsFan: 1am and all worth it for the 2 points, let's keep rolling #FlaPanthers @FlaPanthers 2 in a row , 3 of last 4 @NHL look out for us

@LupDLup: Don't count out my Cats!!! This is a new team out there on that ice, LETS GO!!! #NHL #FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Sharlotte Theriault: Awesome game! What a show...nice job Cats!

Kurt Doerries: Listened to it on the radio. My heart skipped a beat when I heard Higgins' shot go off the post. Great game Timmy T and great game Panthers!

Stephen Watts: Great win. Panthers are getting better every game.

John Cooper: Panthers are a new team! Go timmy

Dan Bradley: What a game! This is the team I've been waiting to see!!!

3. Beautifully setting up the game-tying goal in the third, center Nick Bjugstad registered an assist in his third straight game. Bjugstad also has six points (1-5-6) in seven games for the Cats.

4. Florida was credited with six takeaways as a team. Defenseman Brian Campbell had four of those all by himself. The blueliner also led the way with four blocked shots for the Cats.

5. The Panthers combined for 36 shots on the night. They were led by a trio of players who finished with five shots each with forwards Scottie Upshall and Marcel Goc along with defenseman Brian Campbell leading the way.

24. Shawn Matthias' third period goal tied the game at two but also gave the Cats 24 third period goals on the season That total is good enough for fourth best among all NHL teams, two behind Chicago and one behind Winnipeg and Phoenix.

1994. Florida hasn't had a lot of success in Vancouver. Tuesday night was the 13th time they played in British Columbia and was just the second victory. Their only other victory, in fact, came in their very first attempt back on Mar. 7, 1994.

Tim Thomas
Thomas came up with some big stops, especially with Vancouver buzzing in the second period and then stopped all three Vancouver shootout attempts.

29 Shots, 27 Saves, .931 SV%
After a day off, the Panthers will finish off their five-game road trip with two games in two nights in the province of Alberta. They'll look to avenge a 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night before closing out the trip on Friday in Calgary. The Oilers earned a big 7-0 victory over Columbus on Thursday night, their second straight victory. Edmonton is offensively led by Jordan Eberle (18 points in 23 games) and David Perron (17 points in 19 games). Goaltender Devan Dubnyk has played in 17 games, posting a 5-10-1 record with a 3.31 GAA and .892 SV%.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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