The Florida Panthers maintained their lead in the Southeast Division on Friday night, reaching 59 points for the season with a 2-1 win over division foe Winnipeg. The Jets were playing their second game in as many nights, as they caught the Panthers on the second leg of the Florida swing after winning in overtime against Tampa Bay.
Kris Versteeg opened the scoring in the first period with his 20th goal of a season, a power play strike that beat Jets' goalie Chris Mason. On an Andrew Ladd feed, Bryan Little evened it for Winnipeg midway through the second period but the tie was short-lived. Sean Bergenheim put Florida back in front just three minutes later, with a blast for his eighth of the season. The Panthers would kill off a late penalty, and Scott Clemmensen would stop 20 of 21 shots for the win.
The Panthers now travel across the state to face the Lightning on Saturday night.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Panthers, visit SB Nation's Cats blog, Litter Box Cats. For the opponent's perspective, visit Artic Ice Hockey, SB Nation's Winnipeg Jets blog. For all your NHL news and analysis, be sure to visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.