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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 0 1 1 3
HURRICANES 1 1 0 0 2
FLA - S. Bergenheim (7), PPG - J. Garrison (10), K. Versteeg (16)

CAR - T. Gleason (1), C. LaRose (9)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Kris Versteeg scored 3:08 into overtime, giving the Florida Panthers a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.

Stephen Weiss' shot from in front was blocked, but Versteeg found the loose puck and swept it in from the left side of the crease for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.

"I had a great play there at the end obviously by Soupy. After giving that puck away in the second, you feel ashamed basically. Something where it doesn't feel good. You always try to come back and help the team in whatever way you can."

- Panthers forward Kris Versteeg on making up for his giveaway in the second and getting the game-winner in overtime
1. Second To Forget: Deadlocked at one after one thanks to goals from Sean Bergenheim and Tim Gleason, it looked like one offense showed back up for the second twenty minutes. Carolina brought it to Florida in the second period, putting 16 shots on net. The Panthers on the other hand could only muster four shots on Cam Ward. Luckily, Jose Theodore was a wall in stopping all but a shot by Chad LaRose. Even on that one, it would be tough to fault the Cats netminder as LaRose stripped Kris Versteeg of the puck along the boards, skating in on Theodore. He then fired a shot top shelf. After 40 minutes, the Panthers trailed 2-1 despite being outshot 23-12.

2. The Power Of Garry: Florida's offense found a way to tie the game in the third period and it came from the blue line. On a power play five minutes into the final stanza, defenseman Jason Garrison ripped a shot on goal. Ward got a piece of it but not enough as the puck squeezed past Ward to knot the score at two. Garrison's bomb from the point has been deadly this season as he bumped his NHL lead among defensemen to ten, two more than Nashville's Shea Weber. Garrison also leads defensemen in power play goals as he picked up his sixth power play marker of the season.

3. Versteeg's Redemption: To say that Versteeg had a rough game for the first 60 plus minutes would be about right. Not only was Versteeg victimized on Carolina's second goal (see above) but in the third period he missed a wide open net to give the Panthers what would have been a lead and as he was falling to the ice, he took down a Canes player with a slash. Carolina ultimately didn't score on the power play with six minutes left to play. Earlier in the third, Versteeg was planted face first into the boards on a vicious boarding play by Jussi Jokinen. The winger stayed on the ice for a while not moving before slowly skating back to the bench. Then with time running out in regulation, Versteeg skated down the ice with Tomas Fleischmann on a two-on-one break. He elected to keep the puck on his stick and rang it off the post. In overtime, it was a different story as this time he couldn't be denied on the open net chance, burying it
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@MetsPanthersFan: Wow, how about the OT victory by the #flapanthers! It wasn't our best performance, but good teams always prevail. Perfect end to a weekend.

@puckmaster35: #FlaPanthers win!!! Great game boys!!! #VERSTEEG

@hlamp: Did Versteeg show the panther claw hand sign after he scored the game winner? That's awesome! #flapanthers

@amandaaKP: OT win! Kris Versteeg with a beautiful game winning goal! #FlaPanthers #WeSeeRed

@Cooperfect: I love these @FlaPanthers So much heart, so much talent. #FlaPanthers #WeSeeRed #Bringontherats

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Andreas Bergh: This is the sign of a playoff team. Playing pretty bad for 40-45 minutes but are still able to get the two points. We see playoff!

Robby Uzzo: Omg how loud was this crowd after that goal?! I remember 1996!

Sebastian Lovas: What a play by Campbell! Sweet win :D

Alex Delgado: Yeaaaaaaaaa baby...Versteeg and Campbell r quickly becoming fan fav...I can't wait to see my panthers in nj

Joanne Ruimy: Love Versteeg!!! Fun OT to watch actually I just knew we'd take 2pts tonight even if the first 2 periods were slow! Lovvvve my Panthersss can't wait for Tuesdays game!!


2. The Panthers got on the board early as Sean Bergenheim scored 4:16 into the contest. It was just the second shot on goal on Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward.

5. Goals have been at a little of a premium lately. In fact, the Panthers and their opponents have combined for five goals in each of the last three games. All finished in overtime or the shootout and all with a 3-2 final.

Trailing by a goal in the third, Jason Garrison let one rip from the point. Ward couldn't get all of it as the puck found the back of the net for the defenseman's 10th of the season. It was also his sixth power play goal of the year.

The second period belonged to the Hurricanes. The visitors threw 16 shots on net, 12 more than the Panthers recorded. They scored the lone goal of the period for their efforts, giving them a 2-1 lead off Chad LaRose's ninth of the season.

It continues to be a high entertainment value for Panthers fans at home. It was the 12th straight game that the Panthers have been involved in a one-goal game (6-1-5). Florida in fact has taken points in eight straight games (6-0-2) in front of their fans at the BankAtlantic Center.
Kris Versteeg
No one really stood out among the rest so the game-winner caps off a see-saw game for Kris Versteeg.

1 Goal, 2 Shots, 1 Hit
Florida closes out their four-game home stand on Tuesday as they host the Phoenix Coyotes. The Western Conference foes lost a heart breaker on Saturday night as the Rangers Brad Richards scored with .1 seconds left on the clock to give the visitors a 3-2 victory. Sitting in ninth place in the West with a record of 16-13-3 (35 points), the Coyotes are led by former Panther Ray Whitney (28 points) and winger Radim Vrbata (15 goals). Former Lightning netminder Mike Smith has gotten off to a good start in his first year in the desert, compiling a 14-10-3 record with a 2.55 goals against average and .919 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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