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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 2

by Staff / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 1 2 0 4
Maple Leafs 0 1 1 0 2
FLA - B. Pirri (13), B. Boyes (21), N. Bjugstad (15), SH - N. Bjugstad (16)
TOR - T. Bozak (19), P. Ranger (6)

SUNRISE —  ( - Nick Bjugstad and the Florida Panthers spoiled goalie Drew MacIntyre's long-awaited first NHL start.

Bjugstad had two goals and an assist to lead the Panthers to a 4-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at BB&T Center..

"We needed to get pucks at the net. That was the first game for their goalie and we wanted to get some shots. We started off well which is a different technique for us. It was nice to have the lead."

- Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad.
1. Pirri's Present: Brandon Pirri gave the Panthers fans a special gift on his 23rd birthday with his 13th goal of the season 6:06 into the game. Pirri showed off pinpoint accuracy on a lightning quick release on the goal, as he gathered in the nice feed from Quinton Howden and fired a shot top shelf past Leafs goaltender Drew MacIntyre all in one smooth motion. The goal was Pirri’s fourth in the past six games and seventh since joining the Panthers.

2. Bash Brothers
Ed Jovanovski and Erik Gudbranson were involved in an eventful second period shift that featured a couple of scraps. Things got started when Leaf David Clarkson caught Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo with a stick after the whistle.  The Cats’ captain and Gudbranson came to the protection of their netminder, throwing a few fists Clarkson’s way. On the ensuing play, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf was whistled for a hit on Howden that Gudbranson and Jovanovski took exception to.  More punches were thrown as Gudbranson and Jovanovski made it clear that if you mess with the Cats, you’ll have to answer for it.

3. Bju-tiful Game: Nick Bjugstad had a dominating three-point game (2-1-3) as he led the Panthers to the 4-2 win over the Leafs while scoring his 15th and 16th goals of the season. Bjugstad got started at the end of the second period when he set up Brad Boyes with a tasty wraparound assist. Bjugstad scored on a wrap around of his own 3:23 into the third and then finished things off with a shorthanded goal just a few minutes later. With the stellar performance, Bjugstad netted his first NHL three-point game, his first NHL two-goal game and his first NHL shorthanded goal. .
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Buddha94: PANTHERS WIN!! Panthers made it look to easy tonight! @FlaPanthers #FlaPanthers

@Samthe13M: @FlaPanthers great win tonight! Looking forward to the same thing Saturday to close out the season strong!!!

@ZariahCaleb: #FlaPanthers great game guys, #turndownforwhat

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Alejandro Hernandez: Good game boys!!!!! Love you cats

mudlife07: That's how we should play every game. I love it. Good job guys. Can't wait for next season

1. At the age of 30, Toronto goaltender Drew MacIntyre made his first NHL start, turning aside 33 shots in the loss.

3. In their first season as Atlantic Division rivals, the Panthers got the best of the Leafs, winning three out of four games.

23. Brandon Pirri recorded his 13th goal of the season on his 23rd birthday.  The goal was his seventh in 20 games with the Cats.

38. With his three points, Nick Bjugstad jumped into the Panthers scoring lead with 38 points (16-22-38).

76. Bjugstad was dominant in all facets of the game tonight as the young center won 76% of his draws (13/17).

Nick Bjugstad
The big center was instrumental in the Panthers last three goals, setting up the game-winner by Brad Boyes and then scoring recording his first multi-goal game of his NHL career.

2 Goal, 1 Assist, 3 Points, +2, 5 hots, 14:02 TOI
Just one game in the season remains as the Panthers close out their 2013-14 slate on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus, who clinched their second playoff spot in franchise history on Wednesday night, is fighting for playoff seeding with Philadelphia and Detroit. They're led offensively by young center Ryan Johansen with 60 points (32-28-60) while Sergei Bobrovsky has compiled a 31-20-5 record, .922 save percentage and 2.39 GAA.

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