Kris Versteeg scored just six minutes into the first, netting his seasons 18th goal, leading the Panthers. Marcel Goc collected an assist on the play.
Just 40 seconds later, the Panthers went on the power play when Nik Antropov elbowed Jack Skille. After initially clearing the puck out, the Jets gave the Panthers a good chance to score, but instead Sean Bergenheim was assessed a roughing penalty against Mark Stuart to even the teams at four apiece.
Before the 4-on-4 ended, Jason Garrison was called for tripping Johnny Oduya. The teams skated five-on-three for 51 seconds, but Zach Bogosian pulled his one timer a little high, and the Panthers got back to 5-on-4 again without further incident.
Winnipeg enjoyed a third power play in a short time with nine minutes remaining in the period when resident tough guy Krys Barch was called for roughing Patrice Cormier. On the ensuing power play, the Cats cleared the puck out four times and kept it in the Jets zone for almost half of the power play. Both teams collected exactly one shot over the two minutes.
Kris versteeg, Krys Barch and Mike Santorelli managed to tuck the goal into Winnipeg’s net with less than 20 seconds to go in the period. After a review, Santorelli was awarded his sixth goal of the season.
Sean Bergenheim was called for hooking Ron Hainsey four minutes into the second. After the Cats twice cleared the puck out, the Jets cut the Panthers lead in half when Nik Antropov stuffed it past Scott Clemmensen for his seventh goal of the season. Kyle Wellwood got the only assist on the play.
Jim Slater was called for tripping Kris Versteeg at the seven minute mark. After getting nicely set up in the Jets zone, the Panthers couldn’t get a shot off when Dmitry Kulikov let it bounce over his stick. After the puck was twice more cleared, the Panthers managed to get the puck on net twice, but couldn’t get the payoff, and the power play ended without incident.
Tobais Enstrom was called for tripping Mikael Samuelsson with three minutes left in the period. The Cats didn’t get anything going, and gifted the Jets when Sean Bergenheim was called for boarding Tanner Glass just before the power play ended. The teams skated into the dressing room without further changes to the score.
The Jets looked to be skating circles around the Panthers, and outshot the Cats in the period, 15-7.
The period started out with the Panthers still down a man from Bergenheim’s boarding call for about one minute, but the Cats killed it off nicely.
At the six minute mark, Nik Antropov scored his eighth goal of the season, and second on the night, beating Clemmensen from point blank range. Andrew Ladd and Kyle Wellwood earned the helpers on the goal.
Kris Versteeg scored his 19th of the season and second of the night just 57 seconds later when he intercepted a clearing pass, keeping it in the zone. He slapped the puck at Ondrej Pavelec, who got a piece of the puck but not quite enough as it trickled home for the go ahead marker.
Winnipeg wouldn’t go away, and again equalized the score with six minutes left in regulation with Alex Burmistrov’s ninth goal of the season, again on a point blank shot, which Clemmensen almost stopped.
Both teams buckled down, and neither would allow another score in regulation as they took to the extra frame to decide things.
Florida has a 3-10 overtime record, while Winnipeg is 3-5.
Tomas Fleischmann nearly ended it two minutes into overtime, but was foiled by sometimes friend, sometimes foe, the crossbar.
The Panthers and Jets both enjoyed great chances to finish this one without a shootout, but it was not to be, and the skills competition would be the decider.
Bryan Little started things out for the Jets, but pulled the puck wide to the right.
Stephen Weiss went next, but the puck was kicked aside by Pavelec to the right.
Kyle Wellwood beat Clemmensen high to the stick side to put the Jets up.
Kris Versteeg went next, and made about six moves to beat Pavelec and tie it up.
Andrew Ladd missed it wide right for the Jets.
Tomas Kopecky took the ice with a chance to win, but pulled the puck high.
Blake Wheeler beat Clemmensen to his left to put the Jets up.
Mike Santorelli beat Pavelec to extend the shootout to the fifth frame.
Nik Antropov went next for the Jets, but was stick saved by Clemmensen despite a double deke move.
Tomas Fleischmann tried to go five hole, but it closed at the last moment. on to frame six.
Antti Niemenen was stopped by Clemmensen with a left pad save.
Marcel Goc’s attempt was kick saved by Pavelec.
Alex Burmistrov went next, but Clemmensen poke checked the puck harmlessly aside.
Mikael Samuelsson ended the game for the Panthers, beating Pavelec five hole.
Hits: Jets, 38-16 (Blake Wheeler led all skaters with six. Chris Thorburn and Tanner Glass had five each for Winnipeg. Matt Bradley led Florida, as usual, with five of his own.)
Blocked Shots: Panthers, 24-7 (Jason Garrison blocked four to lead all skaters, while Johnny Oduya and Jim Slater had two apiece for the Jets).
Faceoffs: Jets, 41-27 (Marcel Goc and Stephen Weiss combined to win 14 of 40 for the Panthers).
Shots on Goal: Jets, 44-23 (Shawn Matthias and Kris Versteeg had four each for the Panthers, while Zach Bogosian took nine for the Jets).
Score: Panthers 4, Jets 3