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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 5, Maple Leafs 1

Tuesday, 11.8.2011 / 10:30 PM ET / Wrap Up
By Glenn Odebralski  -
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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 5, Maple Leafs 1
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 2 2 0 5
MAPLE LEAFS 0 0 1 0 1
FLA - J. Skille (1), M. Sturm (1), T. Kopecky (3), S. Bergenheim (2), S. Matthias (2)
TOR - P. Kessel (11)
TORONTO (AP) - The Florida Panthers took advantage of shaky Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson and routed Toronto 5-1 on Tuesday night.

Jack Skille, Marco Sturm, Tomas Kopecky, Sean Bergenheim and Shawn Matthias had the goals for Florida (7-4-3), off to its best start since the 1999-2000 season.

"Today I knew right away. I think the first shot, I think was Kessel down the wing and I just saw the puck really good so right after the first save I knew I was going to see the puck well and I played with a lot of confidence tonight and from there the guys took over."

- Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore on Fox Sports Florida following the game on his game against the Maple Leafs.
1. Third Line Contributions: From the beginning of the game, it seemed like the Panthers third line of Jack Skille, Marcel Goc and Marco Sturm were all over the place when they were thrown out on the ice. The trio combined for the Panthers first two goals of the game and it all started with speed. Skille took a stretch pass from Mike Weaver, tried to pass the puck but got it back again and then beat an out of place Jonas Gustavsson for his first of the season. Then with over three minutes to play in the second Skille would set up Sturm for his first as a Panther by beating out the defenseman for the puck on a dump in.

2. Keeping The Foot On The Pedal: After scoring the game's first goal of the game in the first, Florida could have went into a defensive shell and play a conservative road game against a good Maple Leafs team. That didn't happen as they potted two more within a 19 second span to hold a 3-0 lead after two periods. Then a turnover gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead 2:32 into the third as Sean Bergenheim scored his second of the season. And with the score at 4-1, Shawn Matthias really put the game way on a shot short side on the rush with 3:25 left to play. Up in other games yet not able to close it out (see recent Winnipeg and Tampa Bay games) it was great to see the team keep going hard to the net and outhustling the home team.

3. No Way Jose: While not tested much in the first period, Panthers netminder Jose Theodore came up huge time and time again in turning aside Maple Leafs shots over the three periods. After turning aside all eight shots in the opening 20 minutes, Theodore was at his best in the second in stopping all 18 shots. He followed that up with 12 saves in the third. If it weren't for a Phil Kessel snipe to make it 4-1 3:30 in the third, Theodore would have notched his second shut out of the season. There were plenty of chances for the home team but Theodore was strong throughout, stopping 38 shots for his fifth win of the season.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@noahh640: Nice job by the #FlaPanthers rebounding from 3 straight home losses w/ an impressive road win vs Toronto. Secondary players came up HUGE.

@theJPod: RED hot #FlaPanthers headed into a deflated #Winnipeg team that just lost in OT. #NHL @FlaPanthers

@mtodd90: The 1s finally got a rest tonight. Great all-around effort for the blowout win! #FlaPanthers

@hlamp: #FlaPanthers What? No shoot out? I'm not disappointed. Take the Big Win anytime. #WINNING

@34inXXIII: @MConway11 I don't miss the NBA, my football team is doing well, yet I still can't get enough of our @FlaPanthers. #WeSeeRed #FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Michele Rogers: Panthers...WINNNNN! Way to go Cats! I knew you wouldn't let me down tonight! Toronto is seeing RED tonight!

Brett Michael Rocker: Panthers win! Great job tonight cats. Breaking that shootout losing streak, lol :)

Matt Bradnam: Good win Panthers! I love living in the Toronto area when this happens ahaha!

Brendan Jitlife Taylor: im am such a genius i said skille and kopecky would have big games tonight and they both get goals.great all around team effort tonight and a well deserved 2 points!

1. Another game and another couple of firsts for the Panthers. Jack Skille netted his first of the season while Marco Sturm scored his first as a Panther in recording the game's first two goals.

5. A double purpose here. Not only was it the number of goals scored against the Leafs but the 5-1 victory also pushed the Panthers point streak in games to a season-high five games (2-0-3).

The opponents have had their way against the Maple Leafs in the last two-plus games as Toronto had allowed 12 straight goals in between Maple Leaf tallies. Columbus scored the last goal in a 4-1 loss to Toronto last Thursday before Boston put up a touchdown on them on Saturday. Florida posted the game's first four goals before Phil Kessel ended the run.

13. The Panthers got contributions from pretty much everyone Tuesday night against the Leafs. Just look at the plus-minus ratings. 13 players finished with a plus rating while just three skaters finished in the minus. Leading the way were defensemen Keaton Ellerby (plus-4) and Ed Jovanovski (plus-3).

19. Blink late in the third and you might have missed not one but two goals as the Panthers potted goals just 19 seconds apart. First it was Sturm scoring from the goal line and then it was Tomas Kopecky who put the Panthers up three on a snipe on the rush with 3:13 left on the clock.

Jose Theodore
Could have gone with Jack Skille but Jose Theodore had the game under hand even with the Leafs throwing pucks at the puck left and right. Was huge in keeping the game 1-0 Panthers midway through the second with Toronto pressuring.

39 Shots, 38 Saves, .974 SV%
The Panthers finish their two-game road trip north of the border as they travel to Winnipeg for a Thursday night match-up against the Jets. Florida will look to rebound from a previous meeting against the Jets, one in which the visiting team scored with 50 seconds left on the clock to tie it on their way to a 4-3 shootout victory. Winnipeg finished off a season long seven-game road trip with a 6-5 overtime loss to Buffalo Tuesday night and are 5-7-3 on the season.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
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A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
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