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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 5, Maple Leafs 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 1 3 0 5
Maple Leafs 0 1 1 0 2
FLA - S. Bergenheim (15), J. Garrison (15), PP - T. Kopecky (7), PP - M. Goc (9), EN - S. Bergenheim (16)

TOR - T. Bozak (15)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Sean Bergenheim scored two goals and the Florida Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Marcel Goc and Tomas Kopecky had power-play goals in the third period, Jason Garrison also scored and Jose Theodore stopped 26 shots for the Panthers. Wojtek Wolski had two assists and Bergeneim now has a career-high 16 goals this season.

"I can't explain what the difference is against the Leafs. Sometimes during the course of a season you find out how to get a team's number. It's very fortunate for us this has been one of them. Of course, we beat the Rangers early and then they spanked us. The thing flip flops, but it's nice being on the good side for sure."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. A Quck Jump Again: It didn't take long for the Panthers to get on the board and the early success has been the norm against the Maple Leafs. Florida has scored first in each of the four games this season. In the first game it was Marco Sturm 9:45 into the first. Then it was Erik Gudbranson with a bomb of a shot 1:57 in the second game. In the third game, Marcel Goc found the back of the net a whopping 13 seconds in. It took a little longer this time. After Jose Theodre came up with a big save at one end, the Panthers scored 59 seconds into the game as Sean Bergenheim knotted his 15th of the season by knocking in a rebound off a Keaton Ellerby shot. That set the Panthers up for a 1-0 lead as they outshot the Maple Leafs 9-5 in the period. Florida could have been up 2-0 or 3-0. Brian Campbell had a great chance on a Panthers power play. With James Reimer down and out, Campbell crashed the net and put a backhand off the far post.

2. Offensive Third: After Jason Garrison made it 2-0 with a goal 14:43 in the second and Tyler Bozak answered with a goal with 58 seconds left in the period to make it 2-1, the offenses really opened up in the third. The two teams combined for 25 shots in the period and four goals. The scoring started thanks to the power play. Tomas Kopecky redirected a Garrison shot past Reimer 6:07 into the third and then Goc scored off a turnover in the Leafs zone on another power play 10:28 in. Down by three, Mikhail Grabovski made it a close game once again as he batted in a rebound past Jose Theodore 3:32 later. Down a pair, the Leafs pulled their goaltender but Bergenheim ended any hope of a comeback as he picked up the long missed shot by Kopecky and scored on the empty net. It was a very back-and-forth third.

3. Sweeping The Leafs Keeps Cats Ahead: Once again the Panthers and Capitals played on the same night and once again, Florida was in second place in the Division (for about 15 minutes). Washington, who was down by three goals on two different occasions (3-0, 4-1) to the NY Islanders, came back to win 5-4 in a shootout. That vaulted them to first in the Division. It didn't last long as Florida earned the convincing 5-2 victory, in large part due to a very good power play. Scoring two goals officially and one second from making it a three goal game and if you throw in the Campbell missed goal, a close possibility of going four-for-four, the power play was on tap in the game. The victory, gave the Panthers a season sweep of the Leafs for the second time in franchise history and more importantly allowed them to stay ahead of the Capitals in the race for the division. Florida still has a game in hand on Washington as well.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@J_Mar3: My hands are purple from so much clapping, thanks @FlaPanthers #flapanthers

@cmillz1: Well Done #FlaPanthers good game way to stand up for each other @ShawnMatthias and @krysbarch

@BluLiner55: I love seeing the #FlaPanthers sticking up for each other. #DontMessWithFamily

@JILiebman: The #FlaPanthers toast the #Leafs, and stay within contention for the SE div. lead. #CueTheRats

@Dora_Mets: #FlaPanthers won a great game. Only the 2nd home game I've missed this season. Fun to watch on the big screen at Duffys though!

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Jeff Main: This Canadian is extremely happy with our Panthers beating Toronto! I SEE RED!!!!

Gregory Cordero: Nice leaf sweeping there!! Great job taking care of business! GO PANTHERS!

Dale Leavitt: Hats off to Jason Garrison and our Florida Panthers

Matt Jagielski: Great game panthers. 2-0 on the home stand. Lets keep it going on Thursday. Believe red.

John Rosprim: Big 2 pts! Needed that! Let's keep the scoring going nxt gm!.

4. With the victory, Florida swept the season series against the Maple Leafs. It is the second time in franchise history they've accomplished that feat (2008-09). Between the pipes for all four victories was Jose Theodore.

5. The Panthers should play the Maple Leafs more. Entering the game, Florida had scored five goals in each of their first three games. Make that a perfect four-for-four as Florida got goals from four different goal scorers.

5. It was an offensive outburst for five different Panthers recorded two-point nights. Sean Bergenheim finished with two goals, Jason Garrison, Marcel Goc and Tomas Kopecky all had a goal and an assist and Wojtek Wolski recorded two assists on the night.

15. Kind of a freaky stat but the first three goal scorers of the game recorded their 15th goals of the season. First it was Panthers forward Bergenheim in the first. Then it was Garrison in the second followed by Toronto's by Tyler Bozak late in the second.

59. The Panthers didn't take long to get on the board. 59 seconds to be exact as Bergenheim put home a rebound. The Panthers have scored three times in the first two minutes against the Leafs.

Tomas Kopecky
Kopecky was all over the ice against the Maple Leafs matching a season high in hits and collecting a season high in shots as well as recording the game-winner and assisting on the empty netter.

1 Goal, 1 Assist, +2, 5 Shots, 4 Hits, 18:03 TOI
It's a big game on Thursday between the Panthers and Bruins. With the win, Florida (79 points) is just four points behind Boston (83 points) for the second seed in the Eastern Conference after the Bruins were blown out in Tampa by a score of 6-1 Tuesday night. It's the fourth meeting between the two teams and Florida is 1-1-1 in the first three games. The Bruins are led offensively by second year man Tyler Seguin (57 points in 68 games) and Patrice Bergeron (55 points in 69 games). ITim Thomas has seen most of the action between the pipes holding a 29-17-0 record with a 2.40 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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