It took a shootout to determine a winner in this exciting, playoff-like game at the MTS Centre tonight. Unfortunately, the antsy crowd piled out of the Jets barn settling with only a single point as the Florida Panthers defeated the hometown Jets 4-3 in a shootout.
The Jets will walk away with the single point and move forward to their upcoming two-game road-trip starting in Carolina on Monday. Puck drops at 6:00 pm on TSN Jets.
The Panthers drew first blood as Kris Versteeg opened the scoring 5:40 into the game. Marcel Goc sent a nice pass from the top of the circle onto Versteeg's stick in front of the net. He put the puck to his backhand and lifted it over Ondrej Pavelec. 1-0 Cats.
Nik Antropov took the game's first penalty less than a minute later for elbowing but before the two minutes would expire, the Panthers took back-to-back minor penalties, putting the Jets on a two-man advantage. Unfortunately, the Jets failed to convert on the opportunity.
With 15.5 seconds to play in the first, the Panthers struck again. Ron Hainsey had the puck behind the net and in an attempt to pass it out, it hit a Panther's skate and bounced right onto Krystofer Barch's stick. He snapped a quick shot on net that bounced out but with a mad scramble in front and Pavelec way out of his crease, Mike Santorelli got to it first and it somehow ended up in the back of the net.
A tough late goal had the Jets down 2-0 after twenty minutes. 15-10 were the shots in favour of the Jets.
With Sean Bergenheim in the box for Florida, the Jets power play went to work and was rewarded. Antropov narrowed the gap at 5:06 as he snapped the puck past netminder Scott Clemmensen from the slot. Kyle Wellwood passed the puck out from behind the net to Antropov in front, with Andrew Ladd setting a perfect screen. 2-1 Panthers.
The Jets did everything right for the remaining 15 minutes of the period, except getting the puck past Clemmensen to tie the game. They managed 15 shots to the Panthers seven in the middle frame but Clemmensen was able to shut the door on all of them, making a few key saves at key moments. Jets went to the dressing room trailing the Cats 2-1.
After two periods, Bogosian had eight of the Jets 30 shots on goal and Chris Thorburn led the team with five hits.
The Jets tied things up at 5:54 of the final period as Antrpov net his second of the night and eighth of the season from Ladd and Wellwood. Ladd sent a nifty pass to Antropov who dangled around the crease with the puck looking for an opening. His patience paid off as he snapped home the tying goal.
Under a minute later, Versteeg regained the Panthers lead. The Jets defenseman attempted to clear the puck from deep in the Jets zone but just missed as Versteeg took advantage of the play and snapped a quick shot on net. Pavelec got a piece of it and thought he had stopped the shot completely however, the puck trickled through his equipment and across the goal line to make it 3-2.
Alexander Burmistrov tied the game with 6:15 remaining in regulation bringing everyone in the MTS Centre to their feet. Antti Miettinen dug the puck out of the corner and passed it up to Toby Enstrom on the point. Enstrom wound up and faked a slap shot before sending a nice pass to Burmistrov at the left post. Burmistrov waited patiently with the puck before wristing a shot stick-side to beat Clemmensen. 3-3.
Time ran out on regulation with the game all knotted at three forcing overtime.
A few excellent chances on both sides of the ice during the five minute overtime period but nothing was solved as it remained tied after 65 minutes of play. This one would take a shootout to determine a winner.
Up first for the Jets was Bryan Little who shot wide and missed the net.
Stephen Weiss shot first for the Panthers: Pavelec just got a piece of it and steered it wide. Kyle Wellwood scored for the Jets but Kris Versteeg answered back for the Cats.... Andrew Ladd missed the net on his attempt as did Tomas Kopecky for the Panthers...still tied. Blake Wheeler scored for the Jets to pull ahead on the Panthers....but Mike Santorelli answered back..
Antropov tried a long wait on Clemmensen but was unsuccessful as the angle was too tough. Still tied
Tomas Fleischmann shoots....save by Pavelec
Miettenen missed the net.
Marcel Goc with a nice attempt but Pavelec was there to shut the door again. Alexander Burmistrov's try was poked aside.
Mikael Samuelsson finally finished things up for the Panthers as he net the game winner.