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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 6, Stars 0

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 2 2 2 0 6
STARS 0 0 0 0 0
FLA - D. Kulikov (1), J. Garrison (7), T. Fleischmann (7), S. Weiss (6), K. Versteeg (9), E. Dadonov (2)

DAL - None
DALLAS (AP) - Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss each had a goal and two assists and Scott Clemmensen made 25 saves for the shutout to lead the Florida Panthers to a 6-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Jason Garrison added first-period goals and Tomas Fleischmann and Evgeny Dadonov also scored for the Panthers.

"That's hockey, it's just one of those things. For whatever reason we're more relaxed on the road and play too cute at home. Maybe it's because we have a lot of new guys and want to put on a show for the fans. We have the best intentions, but sometimes, you have to keep it simple and do what works. We just have to find this formula at home."

- Center Stephen Weiss to the Miami Herald on the Panthers road play compared to play at home.
1. Production From The Blueline: The Panthers blueline has been very productive this entire season, leading the league in points and against Dallas, they just improved on that thanks to two goals and adding an assist. Setting up others this season, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov found himself on the scoresheet for the first time in the goal category as he jumped into the play and one-timed a Tomas Kopecky pass 16:44 into the first period. Then it was the cannon from defenseman Jason Garrison that gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead with 1:52 remaining in the period for his NHL leading seventh goal of the season. Brian Campbell collected the second assist on Garrison's goal. In the third period, Mike Weaver collected the second assist on Evgenii Dadonov's goal that made it 6-0. The Panthers have been successful this season and a lot of it has to do with the production from the seven guys that have patrolled the blueline.

2. First Line Prettiness: The Panthers first line of Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann have been together since the beginning of the season and the trio continues to impress. Big time. In the second period, the three of them combined for two of the prettiest goals on the season to date and all three registered points on each of the plays. Versteeg started the first play in his own zone and passed it to Weiss in the neutral zone who then found Fleischmann. The winger made a nice move around the defenseman and then sniped the top shelf for a 3-0 lead with 4:58 left in the second. Then with seconds winding down in the period, a shot by Garrison was saved by Kari Lehtonen. The puck was picked up by Weiss who found Fleischmann who in turn set up Versteeg who finally found Weiss for the one-timer from the goal line for a 4-0 lead. Weiss would set up Versteeg for the Panthers fifth goal as the winger took it all the way in a 2-on-1 in the third period. It's amazing how quickly the three have come together as they have now combined for 52 points in 17 games.

3. Road Warrior Success: While the Panthers have struggled on home ice to date this season, they've been fantastic in their opponents barns. With the win, Florida recorded their league leading seventh road win (in 10 tries) on the season. After alternating wins and losses in their first six road games, Florida has won four straight, outscoring Buffalo, Toronto, Winnipeg and Dallas 19-5. They've put up five goals or more in each of the last three road games. That success has led to the fans booing their own teams off the ice in each instance. That begs the question. What are they putting in the food in the team meals at the hotel? And can they bring that back to South Florida?
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@EricLachner: Are the stats true Weiss plus 6!!!! Steeger close to tops points. Flash awesome plus minus. @NHL the #FlaPanthers are for real. #WeSeeRed

@DanSpiegel: #FlaPanthers fever...catch it. What domination in Big D! #WeSeeRed #NHL

@gruknowwho: If I didn't have to be up in a few hours I'd have a drink to the #FlaPanthers. Love the energy and passion put in to the game tonight

@CochinoChuy: How about our #FlaPanthers?! Best road team in the @NHL! 6-0 drubbing!

@dsilverstone29: I can go to sleep a VERY happy #FlaPanthers fan tonight! AWESOME win tonight @FlaPanthers!!.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Gregory Cordero: I'm hitting the road! Panther domination!

Thomas Ouillette: Been loving the variety of players tallying points. That's the sign of a good team.

Christopher Day: Glad to see some rats in Dallas too!

Joanne Ruimy: We have an amazing team! So proud of the Panthers, great job, let's do it again or almost Thursday night! :-)))

Shannon Reilly: Go Florida!! That's how you do it! :D

0. He wasn't tested in the first two periods (10 shots combined) but Scott Clemmensen earned the shut out in his first game of the season, turning aside 25 shots. It was the second time this season that a Panthers goaltender pitched a shut out in their first game of the season (Jose Theodore on October 8 at NY Islanders).

6. You look at the stat sheet and you see a lot of statistics. One of the most eye-popping ones come from the stat line for Stephen Weiss who finished a plus-six in the game. That means that Weiss was on the ice for ALL six of the Panthers goals on the night. The center tied a franchise record for best plus-minus in a game (Terry Carkner and Robert Svehla were plus-six against Boston on November 26, 1997).

Jason Garrison scored his NHL leading seventh goal of the season in the first period with a blast on the point. Picking up the second assist was fellow blueliner Brian Campbell who interesting enough has registered assists on all of Garrison's tallies this season.

It was used in the three takeaways but the stat line needs repeating. 19. As in the Panthers have recorded 19 goals in the last four road games (4.75 goals a game over period).

20. The Panthers had a pretty successful night in terms of shooting percentage. Putting 30 shots on net, they scored on 20% of them (six goals).

Stephen Weiss
A lot of great choices after a game like this but let's go with alternate captain Stephen Weiss who set up the Panthers third and fifth goals (first assist) and recorded the back breaking fourth goal with seconds left in the second. Also tied a franchise record by going plus-six on the night.

1 Goal, 2 Assists, +6, 57% F.O. %
Florida finishes off their quick two-game road trip with a Thursday night meeting in St. Louis. The Blues have won their last two meetings, including a 2-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday night. Saint Louis is 9-7-1 on the season while Florida improved to 9-5-3 and 7-3-0 on the road with the victory Tuesday night.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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