Panthers' Weiss plays role of uber-hero: hat trick and SO winner against Avalanche 6-5

Not two, not three, but four 2-goal leads were surrendered by Florida en route to a circus-like shootout finish over Colorado. It was a beautiful finish, but anyone who's watched this club recently couldn't be blamed for expecting the worst.

The Cats' Stephen Weiss, who has looked confident and all year, banged home a natural hat trick, and capped it with the shootout winner as the eighth participant of the extra- extra- extra period. Why his coach decided to not use him earlier? No idea.

Scott Clemmensen (29 saves) - facing his predecessor in net - stopped 29 of 34 shots and all four attempts in the shootout.

Colorado's Craig Anderson (39 saves) left the game late in overtime following head-on-head contact by Keith Ballard (who mystifyingly received a minor penalty on the play). Peter Budaj jumped on in relief with 42 seconds remaining, facing zero shots, but it was easy to imagine the Avs' backup hopping in and getting the win with zippo shots against. Been that kind of year.

Notes: Steve Reinprecht had 3 assists. Matt Duchene led the Avs with 7 sog (3p), and 24:30 TOI. He's a rookie, folks. Nathan Horton collected 1g, 1a on two shots. Bryan McCabe had two assists and 25:20 TOI. Florida scored three power play goals. Announced attendance: 12,403.

Next up: Washington tomorrow.