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Post-Game Notes: Panthers 3, Canadiens 2 (SO)

by Carly Peters / Florida Panthers
Florida swept the four-game season series with Montreal for the first time in franchise history.

The Panthers have points in nine of their last 10 games (6-1-3), allowing two goals (non-shootout) or less in all nine games they have earned points.

The Panthers hold a five-point lead over Washington for first place in the Southeast Division and the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference (four points behind No. 2 Boston). Florida has now been in first place for 117 days on the season, including a current run of 32 straight days following a two-goal, third-period comeback in a 3-2 shootout win in Carolina (Florida is 10-4-3 since that win). According to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the latest the Panthers have ever been in first place in their division, previously sitting in the top spot through 68 games on March 10, 2000.

The Panthers are 29-2-4 when tallying at least three goals this season (including four shootout wins).

At 37-24-15, Florida has its best record through 76 games since going 40-26-5-5 in 1999-2000. With six games left, the Panthers’ 89 points have already bested their full-season totals in nine of their previous 10 seasons.

Wojtek Wolski scored the game’s first goal, his first point since scoring five games ago, and added the lone goal of the shootout. He now has nine points (4-5-9) in 16 games with Florida after totaling three assists in nine games with the Rangers earlier this season. He moved to 2-for-6 with the Panthers and 24-of-57 (42.1%) all-time in the shootout.

Mikael Samuelsson tied the game in the third period. It was his first point in four games, but he now has 24 points (11-13-24) in 43 games with Florida after totaling three points (1-2-3) in six games with Vancouver to start the season.

Scott Clemmensen made 27 saves through regulation and stopped all three Canadiens in the shootout to move to 6-0-0 in seven career games against Montreal.

Erik Gudbranson dropped the gloves with Ryan White before earning the primary assist on Samulesson’s goal. He finished the night a +1 with four shots and three hits. He now has eight points (2-6-8) in 66 games for Florida during his rookie season.

Shawn Matthias skated in his 200th NHL game, winning 12-of-15 faceoffs. He has totaled 60 points (25-35-60) in parts of five seasons with Florida.

The Panthers moved to 14-3-3 against Canadian opponents this season, including a 6-2-1 record on the road.

Stephen Weiss’ season-high, six-game point streak (3-4-7) came to an end – one game shy of his career high (7 games, 12/11-12/21/09, 5-8-13) and Florida’s season high (Tomas Fleischmann: 7 games, 10/22-11/6/11, 4-5-9).

Two Panthers missed the game with injuries, as Florida has now lost 328 man games to injury this season.

Earlier in the day, Florida signed C Drew Shore to an entry-level contract. After three seasons at the University of Denver, the Panthers’ 2009 second-round selection will report to San Antonio.

The Panthers try to grab the second game of their four-game trip when they visit Minnesota Thursday at 8 ET on FOX Sports Florida and 560 WQAM.
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