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

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 1 0 1 0 2-4 3
FLAMES 1 0 1 0 1-4 2
FLA - S. Bergenheim (5), S. Bergenheim (6), SO - S. Weiss

CGY - I. Jokinen (10), PPG - R. Bourque (11)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Sean Bergenheim's scored Florida's two goals in regulation, and Stephen Weiss connected for the shootout winner as the Panthers beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Friday night.

Jose Theodore stopped 24 shots for the Panthers, whose last 11 home games have been decided by one goal.

"Every time you are down and get a big goal, it's a great feeling. The whole team was excited. We tried to win it in regular time. (Their goalie) made some great saves and really came through for them. He was tough, but we got the goals we needed."

- Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim
1. The Vet Versus The Greenhorn: Starting between the pipes for the Panthers for his 23rd action of the season was Jose Theodore. It was his 603rd NHL game. In between the pipes for the Flames was Leland Irving, who was has seen a little less action than his counterpart. Irving in fact was making his NHL debut. Drafted in the first round (26th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft, Irving was pretty good in his debut. After allowing a goal to Sean Bergenheim on the fifth shot of the game, he settled down to stop all but another Bergenheim tally on his way to 39 saves. Theodore had to make several strong stops on the visitors to keep it a close game as well until Bergenheim's equalizer. While not as busy, the Panthers backstopper turned aside 24 shots on the night.

2. Berghenheim, Matthias, Samuelsson Line Shines: For most of the season, the Panthers had relied on their top line and defense to do the scoring and when asked on Thursday about that, Sean Bergenheim responded that the secondary scoring had to be better to help out the top line. Talk about taking the words to heart as Bergenheim led the way for the Panthers, scoring the first goal of the game off a rebound 6:57 in and then with time running down and the Cats behind by one, tying it as he fell to the ice off another rebound to send it to the extra session. Bergenheim wasn't alone however as his linemates Shawn Matthias and Mikael Samuelsson each collected assists on both of the wingers goals, giving their line six points on the night. The rest of the team? Zero. But that didn't matter as the trio helped give the Panthers two big points. The three of them combined for 14 of the team's 41 shots on the night.

3. Monkey Off The Back: Finally. The monkey is off the Panthers back. After missing on their previous 15 attempts, including the first two of the night despite great shots by Bergenheim and Matthias, Dmitry Kulikov was called upon to stave off elimination in the shootout. The defenseman, taking his first shootout attempt, calmly skated forward, deked and fired a wrister that be Irving far side for a tying goal. Then after Theodore denied TJ Brodie to extend it to sudden death, it was assistant captain Stephen Weiss skating to center ice. The Panthers longest tenured player skated in on Irving and beat the netminder for a 2-1 advantage. Theodore shut the door on Lee Stempniak to give the Panthers just their second shootout victory in six attempts.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@JessilynMorales: I love coming on Twitter and reading how excited people are about the #FlaPanthers It's about time! #WeSeeRed #BelieveInRed

@davidbub_2: Panthers with HUGE shootout goals by Kulikov and Weiss! Panthers win! #Flapanthers

@noahh640: Toss the rats on the ice, #FlaPanthers WIN! Finally get some pucks to go in for a S/O victory. Glad 2 see the boys get 2nd pt. #WeSeeRed

@Sheena6044: Wooohoooo!!! Nice win Panthers!! I love you Jose Theodore! #Believe #FlaPanthers

@monicant: no better way to start a weekend than with a @FlaPanthers win! #weseered #isawflyingrats

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Mike Kurry: Why are great games like this not on TV ??? Good thing we were there to enjoy good goal tending by Theodore and the winning shootout goal by our buddy Stephen Weiss !!!!! Congrats Cats !!!!!!

Erick Maldonado: The Cats really needed this. Hopefully we can start really turning thinks around with this SO win. Go Panthers!!!

Andreas Bergh: That was massive. The two points and hopefully the confidence for future shootouts.


Phillip Diorio: Love the comeback in the shootout!! Great choices in shooters tonight.


2. A jam packed stat as Sean Bergenheim scored two goals, Shawn Matthias and Mikael Samuelsson recorded two assists each, the Panthers recorded two shootout goals for their second shootout victory.

4. The Panthers haven't had much success against the Flames over their history. Heading into Friday night's game, they had recorded just three victories (3-4-2-2) in 11 tries. Make that four with the comeback win.

Florida threw a lot at rookie netminder Leland Irving. After all was said in done, they put up 41 shots on the kid who was making his NHL debut with 10 shots in the first, 13 in the second and 14 in the third before another four in overtime. The Panthers ended up outshooting the Flames by 15 shots as Calgary posted just 26 shots on Jose Theodore.

Midway through the second, the Panthers found trouble as Shawn Matthias and Marco Sturm were sent to the box just 28 seconds apart, giving the Flames a 5-on-3 power play for 1:32. The penalty kill came up huge as they easily killed off the man advantage.

2,812. It only took Mikael Samuelsson four games to record his first point (primary assist on Sean Bergenheim's first period goal) with the team in his second stint but in terms of days, it was much longer. Samuelsson scored in his final game in the first go around against Carolina on April 4, 2004. That was 2,812 days ago or 7 years, 8 months and 12 days to be exact.
Sean Bergenheim
Scored the Panthers first goal of the game and gave them the chance to ultimately get the two points with tying goal with 4:35 left to play.

2 Goals, +1, 5 Shots
After Saturday off, Florida gets back at it with a Sunday matinee against their Southeast Division rivals the Carolina Hurricanes. In their first meeting of the season, Shawn Matthias scored two late goals to give the Cats a 3-1 victory in Raleigh. It was a close affair prior to Matthias' two tallies. It's been a tough season so far for Carolina as they have won just 10 of their first 33 games (10-18-5) and have been without the services of dynamic sophomore Jeff Skinner who has missed the past couple of games with a concussion.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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