The Florida Panthers came undone in the third period, as the Winnipeg Jets pulled away in a game that was tied at one after forty minutes for a 4-3 road win at the BB&T Center, denying Florida head coach Joel Quenneville his 900th career win.
The Jets victimized the Florida defensive pairing of Mike Matheson and Anton Stralman, who each finished the game with a -3 rating, in the final frame.
Mark Scheifele was the offensive catalyst with a goal and two assists and winger Patrik Laine chipped in three helpers.
After a scoreless first period, the aforementioned pair of Jets set up defenseman Josh Morrissey 3:45 into the second to give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead.
Aleksander Barkov lit the lamp for the sixth time in the past seven games to even things up at the 15:08 mark. Barkov stuffed in a rebound after Laurent Brossoit stopped Mike Hoffman’s blast from the right point. Keith Yandle picked up the secondary assist on the power-play goal.
A wide-open Nikolai Ehlers would take a pass from Laine and bury a shot from the left circle 4:28 into the third after Scheifele jarred the puck loose from Matheson, who had lost stick, behind the Panthers net,
The comeback Cats would again rally to tie the score when Vincent Trocheck potted just his second of the season 3:45 later. Trocheck converted on the backhand after Brossoit made back-to-back saves on Brett Connolly and Brian Boyle.
Scheifele would put the Jets ahead for good with 5:08 remaining in regulation when he drove in a quick Laine feed after Bobrovsky stopped a rising shot from Kyle Connor.
Plugger Adam Lowry would give Winnipeg a two-goal advantage 2;10 later when he got the second deflection off Tucker Poolman’s shot from the point by a helpless Bobrovksy.
Trocheck would pull the Panthers within a goal with a nifty deflection of Hoffman’s pass with 1:34 to go and Bobrovsky off for an extra attacker, but the Cats wouldn’t be able to come with a equalizer that would’ve sent them to a third-straight overtime game.
The first game back after a road trip is usually tricky and the Panthers fell into the waiting trap against a pretty good opponent they don’t see much of. Florida has penchant for making backup goalies look good and that was the case again last night as the Cats tested Brossoit, who finished with 34 saves, 25 times in the first two periods and only came away with one goal. Bobrovsky had no chance on at least two of the Winnipeg goals, but he did give up a pretty juicy rebound on the Connor shot that led to Scheifele’s go-ahead marker. The Panthers and their $10 million keeper need to find a way to cut the goals against down. Florida wasted a good opportunity for points in a tilt that kicked off a long stretch of mostly home games... disappointing.
Pitch & Yaw
- Jonathan Huberdeau was limited to just one shot on goal and was held off the score sheet for just the fourth time in nineteen games this season.
- Patrik Laine assist on Josh Morrissey’s goal was his 200th NHL point. Unfortunately for the Cats, he ended the night with 202.
- Keith Yandle, who picked up a second assist on Vincent Trocheck’s final goal, has 11 points (1G/10A) in the past eight games.
- The Jets raised its record to 8-1-1 in one-goal games. On the flip, the Panthers are 5-2-5 and leaving points on the table.
- After being productive to start the season, Denis Malgin has been awfully quiet lately. Malgin has just one assist, against Detroit, in his last eight games.
- Put on a jacket and head over to Arctic Ice Hockey for their chilling take on last night’s affair.