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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 5, Maple Leafs 3

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 2 1 2 0 5
Maple Leafs 0 1 2 0 3
FLA - M. Goc (6), M. Santorelli (8), PP - M. Santorelli (9), PP - J. Garrison (14), S. Weiss (16)

TOR - PP - P. Kessel (32), N. Kulemin (7), PP - J. Lupul (24)
TORONTO (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.

"They're so long ago. You live so much in the moment but certainly this building has been good to us this year...At the end of the day, you want to kick them in the tail and I think there's great satisfaction...That's a big win for us. We come out, want to be a good road team and tonight was a pretty solid all around performance."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. That's A Quick Start: Talk about getting a jump on their opponents. Before most of the fans had sat down from the National Anthems, the Panthers pounced as Wojtek Wolski's pressure on Luke Schenn forced a turnover and the winger set up Marcel Goc (back from an injury) for the goal from the slot just 13 seconds into the period. Then after a face-off in the Panthers zone, Jack Skille set up Mike Santorelli for the bang-bang goal 2:21 in. Two shots and two goals on the Leafs and netminder James Reimer. Talk about a good start. While not a franchise record for fastest two goals to start a game overall (1:42 - Dec. 15, 2010 vs Carolina), it was the fastest two goals to start a road game, besting the time of 2:44 it took the Panthers to score twice against the Devils on Oct. 30, 2000.

2. Stay Out Of The Box: There was a lot of scoring Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre with eight goals being scored overall. Half of those goals (two for each team) came with the other team killing off a penalty. The Leafs Phil Kessel scored on a quick shot 10:46 into the second period to cut the Panthers lead to 2-1 but Santorelli answered back 3:08 later with a power play goal of his own. Jason Garrison then recorded his 14th of the season (9th on the power play) as he stole a clearing pass and scored into the wide open net 4:38 into the third period. After Nikolai Kulemin and Stephen Weiss recorded goals 1:01 apart, Joffrey Lupul scored the game's final goal with the Leafs on the man advantage to make it a two-goal game with 2:38 left on the clock. Florida finished the game scoring on 50% of their chances (2-4) while the Leafs scored on 40% of their chances (2-5).

3. Team Effort Nets Fourth Straight Road Win: The two early goals, the two goals on the power play, a solid defensive effort (despite three goals allowed) and scoring from throughout the lineup and the Panthers were able to pick up another valuable two points. Four different Panthers recorded goals and 10 players posted points. It was a welcome change from the previous two victories (coming back from two goals down for victories) but the win ran the Cats win streak to three games. The victory has also given the Panthers four straight victories away from the BankAtlantic Center. Successful early in the year on the road, the Cats are doing the little things again (crashing the net, looking for rebounds, suffocating defense, etc) and it has brought them success again.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@MConway11: #FlaPanthers have been playing amazing and kept it up tonight! #BelieveRed 3 game win streak! #BeatWinnipeg

@tvhpanther2: Way to go #FlaPanthers #WeSeeRed #stayhot

@allieenglish28: #FlaPanthers WIN! We are the #RoadWarriors! #BelieveRED oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah :D

@hlamp: First place #flapanthers beat the Leafs and Santorelli was awesome with his 2-goals. #WeSeeRed

@daleftlaud33: Well WTG #FlaPanthers another big road winfor their third straight. Great all around team effort. Thumbs up

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Mark Zola: So I had a flight delay today that took me 11 hours to get home..I'm tired, hungry, and aching from the plane rideS..but then I check the score as soon as I land and suddenly everything feels better lol..thank you Florida Panthers!

Joanne Ruimy: That was a great game! Full of action Go Panthersssssssss!!!!!! Moving right along....

Sebastian Lovas: Good game tonight, Santo surely seems to be playing better now that the trade deadline has kicked in!

Tyler Current: great win! Glad to see more goal scoring and all the lines contributing!

Matt Jagielski: Great game guys. Huge match up on Thursday. Lets continue our Canadian dominance and make the jets our next victim. Believe red!!

2. Last game it was Stephen Weiss breaking out of a slump as he scored twice against the Canadiens. It was Mike Santorelli's turn to end an eight-game goalless streak with two goals. It was the second two-goal game of his career with his other game coming against the Islanders on Nov. 20, 2010.

4. It's been hot and cold for the Panthers on the road. At one point in the season, Florida had lost eight straight road games, going 0-4-4 from Dec. 9 to Jan. 20. They've also won four straight away from the BankAtlantic Center on two different occasions. Winning four straight from Oct. 29 until Nov. 15, the Panthers have now matched that, winning their last four straight (Feb. 11 - Feb. 28).

5. There's something about playing the Toronto Maple Leafs that gets the Panthers offense going. Florida has recorded five or more goals eight times in a game this season. It's the third game (in three tries) that Florida has posted five goals against Toronto. The Panthers have outscored the Leafs 15-6 over those three games.

13. That's a quick start. The Panthers scored just 13 seconds in as Wojtek Wolski found Marcel Goc for the goal. That goal was actually three seconds off the franchise record for fastest goal to start a game (10 seconds - Johan Garpenlov at Colorado on Oct. 17, 1996).

141. While the Panthers were just short in setting a franchise record for a goal to start a game, they did set one for fastest two goals to start a game, at least on the road portion. Their two goals (Goc and Mike Santorelli) in the first 2:21 of the game bested a time of 2:44 that it took the Cats to score in New Jersey on Oct. 30, 2000. Stat courtesy Elias Sports Bureau

Mike Santorelli
Had one of his best games of the season in notching his second two-goal game of his NHL career. Gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead and a 3-1 lead (PP).

2 Goals, +1, 4 Shots, 13:29 TOI
Florida travels west across Canada for a key Southeast Division matchup with the third place Jets (one point behind Washington). The Panthers and Jets are just four points apart in the standings although Florida does have three games in hand. This will be the fifth matchup of the season between the two teams with Florida holding a 3-0-1 record against Winnipeg while outscoring the division rivals 13-9. The Jets, who have 68 points in 65 games, last lost to Edmonton on Monday night (5-3). Offensively, Winnipeg is led by forward Blake Wheeler (51 points in 63 games), defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (42 points in 49 games) and forward Evander Kane (42 points in 57 games). In goal, Ondrej Pavelec has seen the majority of the time, posting a 23-21-7 record with a .909 save percentage and a 2.82 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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