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Rapid Fire: Top Wins Of The Season

by Bill Lindsay / Florida Panthers
Welcome to Rapid Fire. Panthers broadcasters Steve Goldstein and Bill Lindsay will hit five different thoughts on a daily rotating basis. It's up to them as far as what topics they want to talk about as teams, and more specifically the Panthers, make a push towards the playoffs and the Stanley Cup.

With the Panthers on the verge of the second season, Bill Lindsay takes a look back at what he thinks were the five biggest wins of the season.

1. Nov. 21 vs New Jersey: The Panthers earn a 4-3 win. Florida fell behind early 3-0 in the first period but this would be the first game where they would show some true team character. They got a couple of second period goals from Kris Versteeg and the comeback was on. Stephen Weiss would tie it up in the third with a shorthanded goal and Tomas Fleischmann would score late in the third to give the Panthers the win. This was the first real sign that this Panthers team might be a little different than ones we have seen in the past.

2. Dec. 8 at Boston:  The Panthers win 2-0. The Panthers had some injuries and Boston was tearing up the NHL, coming off a dominating November. Boston was at home and this looked to be a game where you could play your best and still lose. The Bruins were that good at this time. Jose Theodore had a spectacular 40 save shut out performance and Tomas Kopecky would score the winner in the third to seal the victory. That was a victory that would give any team confidence, and I think it provided the Panthers with the belief they could compete with he best in the league.

3. Feb. 25 at Carolina: Florida pulls out a 3-2 shootout win. The Panthers were losers of four in a row and in desperate need of a win. They made moves to acquire Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson prior to the deadline and both were in the line up to play there first game for the Panthers. It wasn't looking good as the Panthers trailed 2-0 after two periods but hope was not lost. The Panthers kept coming and Fleischmann would score with six minutes left and the newly acquired Wolski would score with just over a minute and a half left in the game to send it to overtime. Stephen Weiss would get the shootout winner for an emotional and much needed victory. This was a huge turning-point game late in the schedule. The win was important but the way they won was equally important.

4. Mar. 27 at Montreal: The Panthers come back for a 3-2 shootout win. A couple nights ago in Montreal the Cats needed to regain there swagger after losing three straight to teams well below them in the standings. They had all kinds of chances but found themselves trailing 2-1 going into the third. In the third period they were led emotionally by rookie Erik Gudbranson. He had a huge fight and would get an assist on the tying goal by Mikael Samuelsson. The Panthers forced overtime and would finally get the win on Wolski's shootout goal. Scott Clemmensen was awesome in getting teh start and the Panthers went five points up on the Capitals in the Division. This was big because Buffalo and Washington were charging hard and nipping at the Cats heels.

5. ?????: This one has yet to be written. The Panthers are close to a playoff berth and a division title. When they hopefully are able to seal the deal, that without question will be the biggest and most satisfying win of the year. It has been a long hard fought journey, and the Panthers are so very close to that coveted playoff berth. It has been a long time coming and it is up to the Panthers to write this final chapter. I for one believe they will.

Author: Bill Lindsay |

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