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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 5, Capitals 4

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 3 2 0 0 5
CAPITALS 1 1 2 0 4
FLA - PPG - S. Weiss (10), M. Santorelli (4), PPG - D. Kulikov (3), PPG - S. Bergenheim (4), S. Weiss (11)

WAS - M. Knuble (3), C. Eakin (3), B. Laich (6), J. Chimera (11)
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Stephen Weiss scored two goals to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals 5-4 on Monday night.

Mike Santorelli, Dmitry Kulikov and Sean Bergenheim also scored goals for Florida and Scott Clemmensen stopped 28 shots. Kulikov also had two assists and Brian Campbell had three assists.

"I don't know about statement game but it was an important game for us coming off that trip. We wanted to have a good game. It doesn't matter who you're playing. The points are too important now to get caught up in rivalries and stuff. We have to focus on our game, making sure we're doing to be successful and we did it for forty minutes and it was enough."

- Panthers center Stephen Weiss
1. Quick Strike First: It was pretty much a blink and you missed it situation in the first period as two goals were scored in quick succession on two different occasions. The Panthers built a two-goal lead with a power play goal from Stephen Weiss 6:10 into the contest as he beat Michal Neuvirth over his shoulder. Then before the crowd could sit, it was Mike Santorelli striking 13 seconds later. It was the quickest two goals since April 11, 2009 (eight seconds apart). Dmitry Kulikov gave the Cats a three-goal cushion with the Panthers second power play goal from the night as he scored from downtown. Washington finally had an answer for the Panthers as Mike Knuble answered 40 seconds later, scoring five-hole on Scott Clemmensen.

2. Too Close For Comfort: The Panthers jumped out to a four goal lead 12:11 into the second as Sean Bergenheim (power play) and Weiss scored to make it 5-1. On Weiss' goal, Tomas Fleischmann found the center through four Capitals legs for a wide open goal. It looked like the Panthers would coast to the victory but Washington got a goal from Cody Eakin with 20 seconds left in the period to give them hope. Brooks Laich scored off of a nice feed from Joel Ward to get the Cats lead down to two with 7:51 remaining on the clock and then Jason Chimera made the home team sweat as he redirected John Carlson's point shot past Clemmensen with 1:44 remaining. The Capitals pulled their goalie and even though there were several tense seconds, the Panthers were able to hold on.

3. Strengthening The Lead: Although it's early in the season, the Panthers were able to take two points away from this game while not allowing Washington to force overtime and at least get one. The win in regulation was huge in the standings as Florida went to 34 points on the season (15-8-4). The loss drops Washington seven points behind at 27 points (13-12-1). The seven points is the largest lead in all six divisions.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@JessilynMorales: Went to the #FlaPanthers game instead of working on my assignment that's due tomorrow. Time to pull an all-nighter. #WorthIt

@jmm212: Now THAT was a hockey game! Nice job Panthers, scoring 5 goals and going up 7 points in the division. #FlaPanthers #WeSeeRed #BIGWIN

@Ewener: Huge W for #FlaPanthers...1st in SE!! #WeSeeRed #WeSeeRATS the atmosphere amongst cat fans all around the US and yes Canada!!

@puckmaster35: #FlaPanthers win!!!! 5-4!! Scary ending but great win.

@gilliscolin: I appreciate the entertainment value but my nerves didn't like it as much... #flapanthers #therealdeal

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Christian Dirmann: PANTHERS WINNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am so mad i had to miss the game because of finals, but GO CATS GO!!!!!!!!

Dan Glassford: Adrenaline rich for the last 3 minutes whoa. Pulling away in the east

Libby Collins: so many rats!! all is good in Pantherland tonight

James Martin: Great game! Great win! Believe it people, the panthers are here to stay!!!

Christopher Dundaughta Kersey: I WAS THERE!!!! EPIC GAME!


2. Some of the Panthers success was the result of not taking penalties. Florida allowed just two power play advantages for the Capitals. They killed off both of those opportunities.

Three was a pretty big number Monday night. Four different players collected three points in the contest. Stephen Weiss (2-1-3), Dmitry Kulikov (1-2-3), Brian Campbell (0-3-3) all pulled the feat for the Panthers while John Carlson notched three assists for the Capitals.

4. The Panthers potted three goals in the opening period as Weiss, Mike Santorelli and Kulikov all lit the lamp. It was the fourth time this season that the Cats have recorded three goals in a period. It was the second straight game in fact that the Cats netted three in a period (second period against San Jose).

Weiss was a busy man as he netted two goals and added an assist for a three point night. It was the fifth three-point night for the alternate captain in the last 11 Panthers games. Weiss has put up 29 points through the first 27 games with the Cats.

50. Florida's power play was on once again, connecting on half of their opportunites. The Panthers scored three power play goals (Weiss, Kulikov, Sean Bergenheim).
Stephen Weiss
Recorded the eventual game-winner in the second among his three points (two goals).

2 Goals, 1 Assist, 4 Shots, +1
That was quick. After their game at home, the Panthers head back out on the road for three straight games, playing those in a span of four days. First up is the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. It will be the first time that the Panthers see the defending champs and they'll be in for a battle as Boston was the hottest team in November. After an extremely slow start, the Bruins went 12-0-1 in the second month of the season, losing in a shootout to Detroit the day after Thanksgiving. December hasn't been too shabby either as they beat Toronto on Saturday before defeating Pittsburgh 2-0 Monday night. Boston is led offensively by second year man Tyler Seguin who has posted 24 points (12 goals) in 24 games and between the pipes by Tim Thomas who is 12-4-3 with a 1.93 Goals Against Average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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