The Panthers showed some fight that had been missing recently. Photo Source: SunSentinel (Dale Zanine, US/Presswire)

Panthers Comeback Not Enough

When Blake Wheeler dug out a rebound behind Tomas Vokoun‘s pad for his second goal, it looked like the game was over with 13:30 left to play. And why not, it had given his Atlanta Thrashers a 3-1 over the Florida Panthers, a team that has had trouble putting more than one goal in themselves over the past six games.

But the Panthers, a team descending quickly in the overall standings, showed some of the grit and heart that was so drastically missing in their last game against Montreal. First, Stephen Weiss rifled in a shot five seconds into a power play. Exactly three minutes later, a rebound of a Dmitry Kulikov slapshot found the tape of David Booth‘s stick, who quickly deposited it in the open net to knot it at 3-3.

In the overtime session, the drama wasn’t prolonged. Twenty-five seconds in, Dustin Byfuglien (who had 3 assists) took advantage of a Keaton Ellerby mistake at center ice, raced in up the right wing and found Andrew Ladd with a cross ice pass that he easily put past Vokoun.

For the Thrashers, they hang on to their fading playoff hopes with the win. For the Panthers, it’s a point in the standings that they don’t need, looking at it in terms of draft position. But, as a fan, it was nice to see two veterans like Weiss and Booth show some leadership in leading a comeback. Also nice to see the two newest Panthers, Sergei Samsonov (goal, assist) and Niclas Bergfors (assist) pick up points.

Check out Thrasher Backer, FanSided’s Thrasher blog for their take on the game.

Quick turnaround as the Cats return home for a 5pm start later today at the Bank Atlantic Center against the Washington Capitals. Preview will be posted later.

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