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Finally Rewarded For Hard Work

Falling short in their last three road games despite playing hard, Panthers finally fight back to win in victory over Sabres.

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 6:25 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Finally Rewarded For Hard Work
PANTHERS INSIDER: SIX TO START
Put together as a line, Huberdeau, Matthias & Mueller answer the call with six of 11 Panthers points.

Hard work finally paid off for the Panthers.

Fighting hard but trailing in the third period in the last three games of their recent road trip, the Panthers couldn't find a way to get the equalizer. On Thursday night, they found themselves trailing not once but twice and still kept fighting to tie the game and eventually win in the shootout 5-4 over Buffalo.

Down 3-2 heading into the third, it was Shawn Matthias crashing the net and scoring his second of the night off a rebound. Then after a Marcus Foligno power play redirect put the visitors up, it was Jonathan Huberdeau answering with a power play tally of his own with less than 10 minutes to play in the game to tie it at four as he scored in front of the net off a feed from Peter Mueller.

A win like that can certainly do a lot for the team confidence, even if it's late in the season. For Florida, it was their second victory of the season after trailing heading into the third period.

"I thought we did a good job. That's something that our team needed and something all successful teams have," said Dineen following an optional practice at Saveology.com Iceplex on Friday. "Not so much worried about the outcome, but just sticking with it, staying with the process and knowing that the reward can follow a lot of work and when it does, there's satisfaction in that room."

If your hard work isn’t rewarded, a team might get down. But when it finally is, the atmosphere is obviously much different.

"When we battled back, it really shows our character," said Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. "(It was) just a good feeling in the locker room after the win and coming in the next day with a happy feeling, smile on your face,

“I think that does a lot to our confidence, feeling good going into the next game."

“We let up for a bit but we definitely came together in the third period,” said Matthias. “We battled extremely hard. I mean it looked pretty bad for a bit but we came back and played our hearts out and it was a good win.”

Forward Mike Santorelli capped off the win as he beat Sabres netminder Ryan Miller with a pretty deke and shot to win it in the fourth round.

"The last couple of games, we played well," said Santorelli. "We had a little bit of spurts where it didn't go so well. It was good to come back and finish it off.”

While the good feelings on the come back victory were present following the game and in the locker room on Friday, the team knows that they did have a two goal cushion and they shouldn’t have had to make two separate third period comeback attempts.

"I think first of all, we should maintain our lead," said Kulikov. "If we have a 2-0 lead, we should keep playing the way we've been playing like when we got that lead. We can't let off and have teams score and take momentum back. We have to keep pushing."

DINEEN ON JOVANOVSKI

A day after Panthers General Manager announced that captain Ed Jovanovski would undergo season-ending hip surgery, Dineen spoke about the loss of his captain.

JOVANOVSKI TO UNDERGO SEASON-ENDING HIP SURGERY

"It's a little bit of a pile on of what the story we've told too many times this year," said Dineen. "We move forward but your captain is always important piece of the puzzle so he'll be missed."

Jovanovski was limited to just six games on the season in his first year with the 'C'.

ROSTER MOVES, RETURN OF PARROS?

Following practice, the Panthers sent defensemen Colby Robak and Mike Caruso to their AHL affiliate San Antonio for more playing time. Robak was a healthy scratch on Thursday night while Caruso looks to be finally healthy after missing the last 32 games due to an upper body injury.

For Caruso, it's a chance to finally get back and play hockey after what had to seem like forever ago since he played in his second NHL game in Montreal on Jan. 22.

"Caruso is very encouraging," said Dineen. "There's a decent chance he'll play some hockey this weekend."

The Panthers enforcer, George Parros could return to the lineup Saturday night as he skated once again in the optional practice Friday.

"Decent chance he'll be back in the swing of things," said Dineen.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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