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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 4, Canadiens 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 2 1 0 4
Canadiens 2 0 0 0 2
FLA - S. Weiss (14), PP - S, Bergenheim (14), S. Weiss (15), B. Campbell (4)

MTL - D. Desharnais (12), PP - P. Subban (4)
Sunrise, Fla (AP) - Stephen Weiss scored two goals and the Florida Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Sunday night.

Sean Bergenheim and Brian Campbell also scored for Florida and Scott Clemmensen made 18 saves. Weiss and Bergenheim each had assists and Mikael Samuelsson had a pair of assists.

"It's awesome really. For them to be here, it means a lot to me and them. Like anyone. You wouldn't be here without your parents and all the sacrifices they make for you so it's nice to get that win and a couple of goals for them."

- Forward Stephen Weiss on having his family in the stands to celebrate his franchise milestone and the game.
1. An Early Hole: Playing last night and getting in late from Carolina, and playing a rested Montreal team, it was expected that the Panthers would struggle in the early going. That happened as Montreal swarmed Florida, posting the game's first eight shots on Scott Clemmensen before the Panthers could get a shot on Peter Budaj. Florida couldn't withstand the early pressure as the Canadiens struck twice in the opening seven minutes for a 2-0 lead. First it was David Desharnais scoring on the rush 4:27 in. then with Tomas Kopecky and Kris Versteeg off for penalties (at the same exact time), PK Subban let one rip from just inside the blueline that beat Clemmensen at the 6:55 mark. Not a good start but as was seen Saturday night in Carolina, not an insurmontable lead, especially since there was 53 minutes left in the game.

2. Weiss Shines On Own Night: Mired in a scoring slump of 11 games in which he last scored on February 1 against Washington, Stephen Weiss has put a lot of pressure on himself to be a leader. Possibly the monkey off the back in scoring the shootout game-winner against Carolina and with his family in the stands as the team honored him pre-game for breaking the franchise's all-time games played record on Thursday, Weiss broke out. And in a big way. His first goal of the night came 11:36 into the opening period. There he banged home a rebound over Budaj off Keaton Ellerby's shot after Weiss won the face-off. That gave the Panthers some momentum. In the second period, he struck again after Sean Bergenheim tied it with a power play goal 1:09 in. His second goal of the night gave the Panthers a lead they wouldn't relinquish as he banged home another rebound while in the crease less than three minutes later (4:01 in). He finished off his three-point night when he set up Brian Campbell's bomb from the point 9:52 into the third period.

3. Rolling Lines Helps Win Back-To-Back Games: While the Weiss line (with Mikael Samuelsson and Bergenheim) did most of the damage in combining for eight points (Bergenheim with goal and two assists, Samuelsson with two assists), the Panthers were able to win on back-to-back days because of the play of all four lines. That was evidence from all but four players registering a shot on goal (Kris Versteeg who played only 12:14 of ice time, Mike Santorelli, Erik Gudranson and Ed Jovanovski). The Panthers had struggled in back-to-back situations for most of this season but have now won their last four straight (Feb. 11th and Feb. 12th). That has gone a long way in helping them to first place in the Division and 70 points on the season with 21 games left to play.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@_LaLa305_: #FlaPanthers great game again!! #Weiss came up big and huge hits!

@BluLiner55: So many had a great game tonight. Guddy, Bergie, Kopper, Weiss, Skille. You know what? It's easier to say the whole #FlaPanthers team ROCKS!

@mtodd90: Panthers got their groove back. Strong all-around effort tonight. Back in sole possession of 1st place in the SE division. #FlaPanthers

@Ewener: Panthers got their groove back. Strong all-around effort tonight. Back in sole possession of 1st place in the SE division. #FlaPanthers

@JoshAppel: Panthers owner Cliff Viner participating in post game chants in the 100 level concourse with the fans. #FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Lou Doucet: Nice game with no let down after last night's big win. Great job guys.

Jesse Peñate:‎ 2 days of back to back great games!!! I smell playoffs!!! :)

Colby Moran: Just what I wanted to see after a long day at work, GO CATS!

Dave G.: Awesome game! And 2 of those goals are because someone was camped out in front for rebounds, something that wasn't happening during this recent stretch of games. Here's to hoping this is the turnaround we need!!!

William Holz Jr.: HUGE BACK TO BACK COME FROM BEHIND WINS!!!! Tuesday nite yet another big game keep it going!!!Happy for Weiss !!!!

1. It doesn't happen often. In fact Scott Clemmensen's assist on Sean Bergenheim's second period power play goal was the first by a Panthers netminder this season. The last assist by a Cats goalie also came by Clemmensen when he recorded one on February 23, 2011 against Ottawa.

3. Not only was that the point total for Stephen Weiss and Bergenheim (season high), but the Panthers 4-2 victory also gave the Panthers their third victory of the season over the Canadiens. It's the sixth time that the Panthers have won three games of their season series. They've yet to win all four in a season.

7. Playing arguably his best game of the season in collecting two goals (game-winner) and an assist, Weiss registered his seventh three-point or more game of the season. One off his season high (Oct. 17 at Tampa), Weiss last recorded three points on December 5th against Washington.

8. It was a tough start for the Panthers as the Canadiens recorded the game's first eight shots on net before Jack Skille recorded the first Panthers shot about midway through the first 20 minutes.

10. Florida has had a lot of success against NHL teams from north of the border this season. The victory gave the Panthers their 10th victory of the season against the seven Canadian teams and runs their total to 10-2-2. They are also 6-1-1 at the BankAtlantic Center.

Stephen Weiss
The night started out with a tribute to the longest tenured Panther and he made it the focal point in scoring two goals (game-winner) and adding an assist. Was also dominant in the face-off circle.

2 Goals, 1 Assist, +3, 4 Shots, 69% F%
The Panthers get the day off while finding what changes might be made to the lineup as Monday is the NHL Trade Deadline. The team already made two moves in picking up Jerred Smithson and Wojtek Wolski over the weekend. Following the deadline, Florida heads north of the border to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers have won both meetings this season against the Leafs (5-1, 5-3). Toronto, which last lost to Washington 4-2 on Saturday, is currently in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 65 points. They're led offensively by Phil Kessel (65 points in 62 games) and Jeffrey Lupul (62 points in 62 games). Between the pipes, both Jonas Gustavsson and James Reimer have seen time. Gustavsson owns a 16-12-2 record with a .905 save percentage and a 2.89 goals against average while Reimer has a 11-10-4 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.99 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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