Florida roared back from a two-goal, third-period deficit, scoring two goals in the final 6:02 of regulation to force a shootout. It’s the second-largest comeback of the season, following a three-goal comeback vs. New Jersey on Nov. 21. (Florida trailed 3-0 in the second period, and mounted a comeback in the middle frame before taking a 4-3 victory in regulation.)
The Panthers reclaimed first place in the Southeast Division. After Winnipeg earned one point in a shootout loss today, Florida is tied with the Jets with 68 points, but holds the first tiebreaker with fewer games played (60-64). With a win in Toronto, Washington remains in third with 67 points in 62 games.
Tonight marked the ninth time this season the Panthers have scored with under 5 minutes left in regulation to win or force OT (6-0-3).
Florida moved to 28-20-12 on the season, its best record through 60 games since going 30-22-8 in 2008-09, and one point shy of being the team’s best record since going 33-19-4-4 in 1999-2000.
The Panthers earned their third straight road victory and snapped a four-game losing streak (0-3-1), the Panthers longest win streak away from home since a season-high four-game stretch Oct. 29-Nov. 15.
The Panthers moved to 3-0-0 against Carolina this season as teams will next meet on March 11 in Sunrise.
Florida’s 44 shots matched its most in a game this season, coming in a 6-2 loss vs. Ottawa on Feb. 15. ThePanthers outshot the Canes in the opening frame 19-9, just one shot shy of Florida’s single-period season high of 20 shots, coming in the first frame vs. Winnipeg on Oct. 31. Florida started the game outshooting the Canes 10-0 before allowing the first Carolina shot on goal, 8:09 into the game.
Florida moved to 22-2-4 when tallying at least three goals (including shootouts) this season.
One game after setting the Panthers franchise record for most games played with the Cats (614, Thursday), Stephen Weiss
scored the winning goal in the shootout. He will be honored for his franchise record before tomorrow’s game.
LW Wojtek Wolski
scored the game-tying goal on four shots and registered a +1 rating in 15:43 TOI in his Panthers debut. This afternoon, he was acquired from the New York Rangers in exchange for D Mike Vernace (AHL) and a third-round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Tomas Fleischmann
put the Panthers on the board with his 20th goal of the season and now has 11 points (5-6-11) in his last 13 games. He ranks second on the Panthers with 45 points (20-25-45) in 60 games this season. Jason Garrison
returned to the lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury and notched an assist on the game-tying goal, his 50th career point (20-30-50). Already surpassing offensive career highs, he ranks fifth on the Panthers with 25 points (13-12-25) in 56 games this season. Jose Theodore
played in his 36th game against Carolina, his most against any opponent, moving to 19-12-13 against the Hurricanes. Overall, he has allowed two goals or less in his last six appearances (five starts) since missing four games with a knee injury to begin the month. He moved to 2-2-1 in that span and has posted a .939 SV% in those games (.947 SV% when starting). Jerred Smithson
played in his first game with the Panthers after being acquired from Nashville in exchange for a sixth-round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (previously acquired from Dallas) yesterday, registering a +1 rating and two shots in 12:46 TOI. Kris Versteeg
tallied an assist and is now T-5th among all NHL players with 31 points (12-9-31) in 29 road games this season. He leads the Panthers with 49 points (22-27-49) in 58 games this season. Keaton Ellerby
notched an assist, his third in 31 games this season and first point in 21 games since tallying a helper at the Rangers on Nov. 23 Brian Campbell
skated in his fifth straight game of 30+ minutes time on ice and ninth this season.
Florida allowed the game's first goal for the seventh time in its last 10 games and 33rd time this season but moved to 10-18-5 when its opponent scores first.
Florida moved to 5-12-6 when trailing after one period and 3-17-2 when trailing after two periods.
The Panthers have allowed a power-play goal in four of their last five games.
Florida moved to 5-2-3 on the first half of back-to-back games this season, their 10th of 14 sets of consecutive games this season.
Six Panthers missed the game with injury as Florida has now lost 269 man games to injury this season.
The Panthers reassigned RW Michal Repik
and C Jonathan Matsumto to San Antonio (AHL) in separate transactions today.
Florida returns home and hosts Montreal tomorrow at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports Florida, 640 WFTL and 760 ESPN (Palm Beaches). Stephen Weiss
will be honored for his franchise-record 614th game (Thursday) in a pre-game ceremony before hosting the Canadiens.