Not the best night for the Florida Panthers to not bring their best game to the rink. After playing 40 minutes of competitive hockey with a manageable deficit of 2-0, the Cats took the third period off in falling to the Winnipeg Jets 7-0 Thursday night at the MTS Centre.
It was arguably the worst night of the season for the Panthers blueliners. An ill-advised Keaton Ellerby pass in his own zone was picked off by Evander Kane, who quickly converted it for a 1-0 Jets lead. It was only 2:02 later before Jim Slater would double the lead after Ed Jovanovski knocked down Jose Theodore, leaving the cage open for a rebound. Following the early breakdowns, the Panthers actually controlled much of the remainder of the first and all of the second period but, thanks to a sterling performance from Ondrej Pavelec, the Jets were able to take a 2-0 to the third.
Aaaaaaand, it was in the third where the wheels came off in this one. See that picture up above? The Jets did that a lot in the third. After 8:18 had ticked off the clock in the final period, the Jets had piled up four goals to turn a 2-0 game into a 6-0 game. Blake Wheeler would add the extra point with two minutes left to mercifully bring this one to a close.
Quite simply, this was bad. Winnipeg wasn’t content to sit on a third period lead and made the Panthers pay for an over-aggressive blue line in the third period to turn this into the rout of the night. If there’s an upside to this is that it still only counts as one loss and the Jets only collect two points despite how bad it was. Not much more to say on this. The Panthers didn’t get any of the bounces and simply got outworked in the third period. But, to put a bright spin on things, the Panthers went 2-1-0 in Winnipeg for the season. Back in October, I think most fans would’ve been happy with those results.
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