Florida Panthers outlast the Winnipeg Jets 6-4

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 7: Mathieu Perreault
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 7: Mathieu Perreault /

A highly entertaining duel between the Florida Panthers and the high-octane Winnipeg Jets commenced in Sunrise last tonight.

Tonight’s matchup featured backup goaltenders James Reimer (recently named starter following Roberto Luongo’s gruesome groin-related injury) and Eric Comrie (2nd career NHL start) opposing one another between the pipes for their respective sides. Both teams were determined to claim victory, but who ultimately prevailed?

The Cats pounced immediately, as defensive-defenseman Mark Pysyk scored a miraculous wrister, propelling the surging Panthers to a promising start (1-0 FLA).

The Panthers’ d-men seemed motivated to make a positive difference offensively, as Aaron Ekblad stormed the net for an eventual goal (2-0 FLA). The Panthers were soaring and rallying together throughout the beginning of the opening frame.

However, momentum essentially shifted Winnipeg’s direction, as Laine’s fortunate goal brought a much-needed spark to the Jets’ dynamic offense. The Panthers couldn’t seem to prevent themselves from permitting the Jets to receive high-quality scoring opportunities ever-so frequently.

Inevitably, the Jets pounced once more; as non-scoring threat Adam Lowry surprisingly potted a goal to spark Winnipeg’s momentous comeback charge. The goal occurred on another typical Panthers defensive breakdown.

The 2nd period began with WIN claiming a commanding 3-2 lead, following a brilliant top-shelf snipe by scorching Captain Blake Wheeler. However, the Panthers finally rediscovered their offensive firepower; as the sizzling hot Denis Malgin knotted the score at three apiece:

Although the Panthers appeared to be reclaiming momentum, they received unfortunate news that superstar Aleksander Barkov wouldn’t return to the game following an upper-body injury that he sustained after absorbing a powerful Jacob Trouba body-check.

Tides continued turning in the Panthers’ favor; as Vincent Trocheck netted a magnificent goal to reclaim FLA’s lead. However, moments later, budding superstar Patrik Laine evened the score at four on his 2nd goal of the night. The Cats were mired in desperation; as Bob Boughner and company suddenly felt the game was slipping away.

Suddenly, with the clock winding down and overtime seeming likely once more, an unsuspected hero emerged: Micheal Haley. The fearless enforcer scored a spectacular redirection goal (proved to be the GWG):

Eventually, Vincent Trocheck capped off a brilliant performance by the resurgent, resilient Panthers by potting an empty-net goal to conclude the bizarre scoring-affair. The Cats would go on to win this one by a score of 6-4.

Overall, the Panthers played a pretty solid game and stuck in there when times became tough. Some defensive breakdowns will have to be looked at, but the Cats prevailed nonetheless. Your Florida Panthers are back in action against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, December 9th @7:00pm.