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Panthers Wrap-Up: Wild 3, Panthers 2 (OT)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 1 0 2
Wild 0 0 2 0 3
FLA - PP -S. Upshall (2), PP - T. Fleischmann (25)
MIN - K. Brodziak (21), E. Christensen (6), M. Koivu (12)
SAINT PAUL, MN (AP) - Jose Theodore and the Florida Panthers let a point slip away.

Trying to pull five points ahead of the Washington Capitals in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand and five to play, Florida led Minnesota by one in the final minute..

"We haven't taken the easy path all year long. It's been an up and down season and we scratch and claw and all our games have been so close that sometimes we end up on the wrong side of it.."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Power Play Jumpstart: Headed into the game, the Panthers power play had gone cold the last few games. It's been five games since the team scored on the man advantage. It didn't seem to matter in Thursday night's game as the Panthers scored both their goals on the power play. Florida found the game's first goal on their second power play of the night in the second period. There, Scottie Upshall fired a shot five-hole on Niklas Backstrom 22 seconds into the power play to give the Cats a 1-0 lead 13:27 into the middle stanza. Then with plenty of ice after a 5-on-3 turned into a 4-on-3 power play, Tomas Fleischmann netted his 25th of the season from in close. The power play went two-of-five on the night, their first multi-goal game since March 13th.

2. Unlucky Goal: Holding onto a 1-0 lead after forty minutes of play, the Panthers should have been on the power play in the opening seconds of the third period. Instead a high stick byStephane Veilleux on Upshall went unnoticed by all four referees. Instead of killing off another Panthers power play, the Wild had a draw in the Panthers zone and Kyle Brodziak scored on the backhand off the rebound. The goal tied the game at one 1:03 into the period.

3. Quick Hit Wild Steal Extra Point: Holding onto a lead late in the game, has actually been something that the Panthers have succeeded at this season. But up a goal against the Wild and with Backstrom to the bench for the extra attacker, the unlucky goal part II came about as Tom Gilbert's shot from outside the circle, hit Brian Campbell's skate, hit the post and came squarely back to Erik Christensen who potted the goal into the open net to tie the game with less than 31 seconds to play. With a rejuvanated energy, the Wild won the opening face-off and Mikko Koivu raced up the ice and beat Theodore 15 seconds in. 31 seconds away from two points, the Panthers had to settle for just one. Coupled with Washington's victory over Boston, the Panthers are now four points up with a game in hand and five games left to play.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@MarkyMarcWQAM: About as TOUGH as it gets watching the #FLAPANTHERS lose that game tonight..picked up a point for a consolation but DINEEN must be Furious.

@DK_KESSLER: I hope those 2points cost the wild a better draft position! #soreloser #FlaPanthers

@altereg0: tomorrow is the game-in-hand on the Caps and an absolute MUST HAVE against the leagues worst team #FlaPanthers

@JoshAppel: I am LIVID. LIV-ID. Not club Liv, LIVID. Did I mention I was LIVID? SO MANY CURSE WORDS AND YELLING. #FlaPanthers.

@TylerSmith80: Tough loss for the #FlaPanthers but were still 4 points up. Tomorrow becomes a must win. #PlayoffPushs

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Rebecca Hindle: Grrrrrr so annoyed with Florida Panthers right now we were 30 secs from winning end up loosing in OT to a team we should have won NOT HAPPY.

Jody Millard: These overtimes, shootouts and losses are killing me. Come on Cats, let wrap this division up already!

Sasha Kurbegov: ‎2 goals in the last 45 seconds - really? Ugh.

Thomas: Do They must beat the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night or at least get another point!

Todd Greenberg: We're gonna bounce back, just play good hockey. GO CATS GO!!


2. The Panthers scored two power play goals for the first time in eight games. Scoring the first one of the night, Scottie Upshall recorded his second goal of the season with his last goal coming on Oct. 24th in Montreal..

It's becoming a bad habit for the Panthers: play past sixty minutes. Yes they have picked up points but they haven't been easy. Florida has played in four-straight post-regulation games. They've been on the short end of three of them.

25. Tomas Fleischmann continues to be an offensive force for the Panthers, netting his team-high and career-high 25th of the season with a third period goal.

46. The Wild got two goals in a matter of 46 seconds (31 seconds remaining in regulation and 15 seconds into overtime) to steal two points away from the Panthers..

57. Florida had a successful night in the face-off circle, winning 57% of the draws (37-of-65). Of the six skaters that took draws in fact, only Tomas Kopecky (one face-off taken) was under 50% against the Wild.

Wojtek Wolski
Registered the first assist on the tying and winning goals as his shot set up the second goal off the fortunate bounce and then sent the Wild's captain on a breakaway for the winner 15 seconds into overtime.

 2 Assists, 2 Shots, +2, 24:18 TOI
There's no rest for the Panthers as they are right back at it with a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night. It's the only meeting between the two teams this season and Florida will look to take out the league's last place team. Columbus enters the game with just 57 points (25-45-7) in 77 games. Columbus is led offensively by forward Rick Nash (53 points in 77 games) and Vinny Prospal (49 points in 77 games). In goal, Steve Mason has seen most of the work posting a 14-26-3 record with a .892 save percentage and a 3.43 goals against average but missed the last game due to an injury.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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