Florida will be visiting the Winnipeg Jets tonight at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg. This is the fifth of six meetings this season between the divisional rivals, and the final game in Manitoba.
The Panthers have a 15-12-4 road record, while the Jets are 19-10-4 at home. Florida is completing a two game roadtrip. They started it out by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3 on Tuesday night. After tonight's game, they return home for a two game weekend homestand against the Nashville Predators and the Ottawa Senators.
The last time the Panthers faced the Jets, Florida skated off with a 2-1 victory. Kris Versteeg (20) scored a power play goal in the first, and Sean Bergenheim (8) added the game winner in the second. Brian Little (12) scored the lone Jets goal. Scott Clemmensen stopped 20 of 21 Jets shots for the win, while Chris Mason allowed two goals on 30 shots for the loss. Versteeg spoke afterwards about his mastery of the Jets this season.
"I don't know, they're a good team," Versteeg said when asked about why he's been torturing the Jets this season. "Sometimes you shoot and it goes in. Sometimes as you've seen with me, it won't. I don't really care about who I'm scoring against as long as it goes in."
Most recently, the Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, 5-3. Marcel Goc (6) scored 13 seconds into the first period, Mike Santorelli (8, 9) added one two minutes later, then a power play goal in the second, Jason Garrison (14), fresh off his injury added the game winning power play goal in the third, and Stephen Weiss (16) added insurance in the third, banking one off Dion Phaneuf. Phil Kessel (32), Nikolai Kulemin (7), and Joffrey Lupul (24) provided goals for the Leafs. Jose Theodore stopped 28 of 31 shots for the Panthers win, James Reimer allowed all five goals on 23 shots for Toronto. Kevin Dineen spoke about Santorelli stepping up in the absence of top scorer Kris Versteeg,
"For him to get those goals -- those are big goals," Dineen said. "We need production throughout our line up without Kris Versteeg for the next little bit. A couple goals out of Michael Santorelli is big for us."
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