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

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 0 1 1 0 0-2 2
Wild 0 1 1 0 2-2 3
FLA - PP - M. Samuelsson (8), S. Bergenheim (13)

MIN - K. Brodziak (16), PP - M. Cullen (13), SO - E. Christensen
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Matt Cullen and Erik Christensen scored in the shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Cullen and Kyle Brodziak scored in regulation, Dany Heatley had two assists, and Niklas Backstrom stopped 41 shots for the Wild.

"You know what? It’s two points at the end of the day, and that’s the stage we’re at right now. There’s no moral victories in out-shooting them and out-hitting them...We pushed hard when we had to, some little things have crept into our game that we have to work on tightening up. I think once we address a couple certain issues, I think we’ll be a better team."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen
1. A Little Assistance: The game wasn't even three minutes old when the Wild had a perfect chance to take the lead. Center Darroll Powe put a shot on the Panthers net and his shot was almost perfect as it beat Cats starting netminder Jose Theodore. Slowly gliding towards the goal line and then over it, defenseman Erik Gudbranson was Johnny On The Spot as he used his stick to swat the puck out of the net before fully crossing just 2:47 into the game. That save by Gudbranson allowed the Panthers to enter the second period tied at zero with the Wild as neither team could find the back of the net the rest of the opening period despite putting up 11 shots on goal each.

2. Tough Two Minutes Of Game Time: The Panthers would get on the board as Mikael Samuelsson scored on the rebound with the Cats on the power play 13:23 into the second period. It looked like they would take the lead into the final 20 minutes but the Wild had different ideas. Pressuring the Panthers late in the period, Kyle Brodziak scored with a shot five-hole on Theodore with 19.8 seconds remaining on the clock. Then after Stephen Weiss (playing in his franchise record 614th game) took a tripping penalty 42 seconds into the third. Minnesota would capitalize quickly on the power play as former Panther Mark Cullen scored off the rebound of Dany Heatley's shot 1:14 into the frame. While their was a whole intermission between goals, the Wild had posted goals in just 1:34 of game time. Tough to give up a goal late and then early the next period and bounce back.

3. Comeback Results In Point: Trailing by a goal, the Panthers were running out of time. Then with under five minutes to play, Brian Campbell skated into the offensive zone and to the right side of the net. He fired a pass to Sean Bergenheim who was posted in the slot with a defenseman all over him. Bergenheim spun and fired a shot along the ice that beat Niklas Backstrom for the tying goal with 4:12 remaining. Both teams had their chances to win it in regulation and then in overtime but the game would be decided in the shootout. The Panthers have struggled in the shootout this season, owning a 3-6 record heading into the game. That fell to 3-7 as Minnesota scored on both of their attempts while both Kris Versteeg and Bergenheim were denied by Backstrom on their chances. The Panthers have now left seven valuable points on the table due to shootout losses. The one point coupled with a Winnipeg victory over Tampa vaults the Jets into first place in the division. While down a point (67-66), Florida does still have four games in hand on Winnipeg.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@RhyminChrisR: For fans who are losing faith in the #FlaPanthers, don't give up hope. This is a rebuild, not a Van Gogh. It wont always be pretty.

@daleftlaud33: #FlaPanthers So many emotions with another tough loss. Bounce back @FlaPanthers Congrats Weiss

@davidlasseter: I still think this team wins the division ultimately but does it have to be so nerve fraying? My Tums bill is getting crazy. #FlaPanthers

@BlakeRichard4: @JakexRoell24 @FlaPanthers its so depresseing this is 4 in a row they've lost :(

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Brett Michael Rocker: Need W's, OT losses aren't ganna get anything done at this point of the season

Bob Klemm: If they can't remember how to shoot and score, we can forget the playoffs. They look terrible out there...

Ron Alen: Where's our shootout!?!? Why isn't this being addressed!?!?

Mitchell Doline: FREAKING UNREAL how we CANNOT win a Shootout at home

Robby Uzzo: one out of eight points on this home stand. That is not how a playoff team plays. Especially not one with a division lead. Pathetic. I'm sorry. Pathetic.

3. Florida broke the scoreless draw with a power play goal from Mikael Samuelsson in the second period. It was the Panthers first power play goal in three games. Florida had been shut out on their previous nine man advantage attempts.

7. Sean Bergenheim was a busy man putting seven shots on net (one less than Samuelsson for a game-high). One of those turned into his 13th of the season as he tied the game with 4:12 left to play. The seven shots tied a season high for the Panthers forward.

12. Falling in the shootout for the seventh time this season, the Panthers now have 12 post-regulation losses on the season. That ties them with the Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes for the most losses following the end of regulation this season.

94. While in terms of real time, it was much longer (thanks to an intermission), the Wild scored twice in a span of 94 seconds (or 1:34) as Kyle Brodziak scored with 19.8 seconds left in the second and Mark Cullen scored 1:14 into the third to give them a 2-1 lead.

614. And the record is all his. A game after tying Radek Dvorak atop the games played list, Stephen Weiss now has the record all to himself. Getting the start for the opening face-off, Weiss has now played in 614 games for the Panthers.

Niklas Backstrom
Allowed the tying goal late in the third but was busy all night in stopping 41 shots and then another two in the shootout to take home the victory.

43 Shots, 41 Saves, .953 SV%
Florida hits the road for a game Saturday night as they travel to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a Southeast Division matchup. Carolina, which enters the game with a 23-26-12 record after falling to Anaheim 3-2 in the shootout Thursday night, has played solid hockey in the month of February, taking points in all but one of their games (5-1-3). The Hurricanes are led offensively by their captain Eric Staal (50 points in 61 games), Jussi Jokinen (31 points in 58 games) and Jeff Skinner (31 points in 45 games). In goal, Cam Ward has seen the yeoman's workload, playing in 52 of their 61 games and sporting a 21-18-10 record with a 2.81 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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