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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 5, Sharks 3

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 3 1 0 5
SHARKS 2 0 1 0 3
FLA - PPG - S. Weiss (9), M. Sturm (2), T. Fleischmann (12), SHG - J. Skille (2), PPG - D. Kulikov (2)

SJS - L. Couture (9), J. McGinn (4), PPG - L. Couture (10)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - After more than a decade without a playoff berth, the Florida Panthers are playing like a true contender early this season.

Tomas Fleischmann scored the tiebreaking goal and Jack Skille added a short-handed score in a three-goal second period that carried the Panthers to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

"I think there's really a lot of belief in our locker room right now. Two games now, we got down a goal in the first two minutes and we readjusted from there. It was a really solid all-around effort from our special teams to our goaltending. It was a good hockey game."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Battle Of The Backups: Both the Panthers and Sharks decided to give their starting netminders (Jose Theodore and Antti Niemi) a rest as Scott Clemmensen started his second game of the season and Thomas Griess played in his ninth. Both netminders were tested early with Griess the busier of the two in seeing 12 shots in the first. The Sharks netminder was actually tested a lot on the night, seeing 35 shots overall. Clemmensen, while only seeing 26 shots overall was pretty steady in just his second action of the year. The Panthers netminder made several point blank stops on a pretty good Sharks offense.

2. Turnovers Helps Roll A Three In The Second: Trailing 2-1 after twenty minutes of play, the Panthers brought it to the Sharks in the second. A pesky forecheck caused three turnovers leading directly to three Panthers goals in the second period. Former Shark Marco Sturm tied the score at two 5:37 in as he intercepted a Colin White clearing pass, went hard to the net and scored on the backhand. Then it was Stephen Weiss who stole the puck from Brent Burns, sent the puck to Kris Versteeg who found Tomas Fleischmann driving to the net for his 12th of the year. Then with less than two to play, Jack Skille gave the Cats a two-goal lead as he hounded Dan Boyle. The defenseman attempted a cross ice pass to Burns but Skille stole the puck, skated in with Boyle all over him and scored the shorthanded goal.

3. Special Teams Contributes: It seems like it's hit or miss with the Panthers special teams, specifically the power play unit. A game after finishing with six power play chances yet no goals to show for it, the Panthers man advantage units scored on two of their four opportunities. Stephen Weiss tied the game at one in the first period and then Dmitry Kulikov salted the game away, making it 5-3 with 1:35 left on the clock. Florida's penalty kill unit broke even on their own end. Skille netted a shorthanded goal in the second to produce a 4-2 lead but the Sharks scored on a power play in the third to bring them to within one. That's as close as they would get thought.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Demimichiko: Good job Cats. That's what I like to see #FlaPanthers

@BeaufortBeauty: Wow to the #FLApanthers and their dominance #tallontalent still rollin #boom

@parrothead34: I knew breaking out these Roger Neilson early 90's neckties would bring us luck. #WeSeeRed #FlaPanthers #SaintRoger

@monicant: not tired in the least. Thank you #flapanthers for keeping me up. I can't sleep now, I am too buzzed with that win. #weseered

@sportschick79: Rats in San Jose. Love it. #FlaPanthers fans are a seriously loyal bunch.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

James Hendry: What a game, Cats! That first line is "en fuego!"

Adam Hernandez: winner winner chicken dinner!! great game!! and finally Dineen has been able to get all the lines working in unison J.Skillz is number one star in my mind! and Clemmers my hat it tips for thee GO CATS GO!!

Andrea Howell: Boys put in a great road trip! Getting stronger and stronger each week!! Loving it! On that note, goodnight to all!

Louis Onofrio: Great win! Keep it rolling!!

Andrew Cudmore: awesome game, good to see the 1st line strong as always and campbell and kulikov holding the blue line for the PP. amazing how this team can take anyone in the NHL right now


2. Pretty loaded stat here as Marco Sturm, Jack Skille and Dmitry Kulikov all netted their second goals of the season. Scott Clemmensen recorded his second win of the season in his second game. Also, the Panthers scored two power play goals.

8. The Panthers top line of Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann were all active once again as all three finished with multiple point games. Fleischmann and Weiss had a goal and two assists on the night while Versteeg recorded two assists after missing Thursday night's game against Los Angeles.

Fleischmann posted a career high and Panthers single game high (at least this season) with nine shots on net.

15. Florida had some pretty active sticks Saturday night as they were credited with 15 takeaways. San Jose on the other hand had just three.

67. If there was one area that the Panthers didn't do well in, it was in the face-off circle. There the Sharks won 67% of the draws (36-18).
Tomas Fleischmann
Difficult choice here but Fleischmann is the guy. Recorded three points, including the goal that gave the Panthers their first lead of the night.

1 Goal, 2 Assists, 9 Shots, +1
Florida returns home for a great tilt Monday night as they host Southeast Division foes, the Washington Capitals. It will be the second meeting for the top two teams in the division. In the last meeting, Washington shut out Florida 3-0 in the Panthers fifth game of the season. Up by five points on Washington (13-11-1) this time in the standings, the four point swing in the standings will be huge. The Capitals earned their first victory under new head coach Dale Hunter Saturday night as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in overtime.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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