The Panthers and the Wild both opened the season as surprise success stories, but have each recently found themselves in familiar positions, on their respective conferences playoff fringes. Can Florida salvage a home win after losing their first three?
"It was a big start. We came out moving our feet and got two goals and the game tightened up after that," Santorelli said. "It was a hard-fought battle."
Wild @ Panthers 11/12/10 (via NHLVideo)
Florida is coming off their third consecutive home loss, a 2-0 blanking at the hands of Jonas Hiller and the Anaheim Ducks. Hiller stopped all 31 Florida shots, while Jose Theodore took the loss even though he stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced. Teemu Selanne (20) provided all the scoring the Ducks would need with eight minutes remaining in the first period with his 657th career marker, moving him into 12th place on the All-time NHL list. Niklas Hagman (9) added an empty netter to cap the game with 15 seconds remaining. Theodore had a good frame of mind after the loss,
"At this time of year, it's always a tight game and as a goalie I've been around long enough, I know what I need to do," Theodore said. "I prepare myself the same way every night. You want to give your team a chance to win and go out there and work hard and give it everything you've got."
Ducks @ Panthers 02/19/12 (via NHLVideo)
Niklas Backstrom earned a shutout victory against the Boston Bruins, 2-0 on Sunday by stopping all 48 Boston shots. Tim Thomas allowed two goals on 29 shots in taking the loss. Chad Rau (2) scored the game winner half way through the second period, and Matt Cullen (12) added a power play goal five minutes later. The win for Minnesota broke a seven game winless streak. Afterwards, Wild coach Mike Yeo was happy for the victory:
"Am I allowed to smile?" said Wild coach Mike Yeo, whose team also had lost five straight games at home, a club record. "Obviously, Back was outstanding tonight, especially early in the game when they got off to a great start and had a couple of great chances early in the game."
Bruins @ Wild 02/19/12 (via NHLVideo)