The Jets and the Panthers take the ice in Winnipeg, each team looking to bring their respective long suffering fanbases their first playoffs in over a decade.
Just 30 seconds into the period, Tomas Fleischmann would gift the Jets with a power play when he hooked Blake Wheeler in the defensive zone. Winnipeg only managed one shot on goal, while Florida cleared the puck out twice.
Four minutes into the game Evander Kane opened the scoring by beating Jose Theodore glove side by collecting an errant pass deep in the Panthers zone with his 25th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, the Jets scored on an out of position Theodore to make it 2-0. Jim Slater scored his ninth goal of the season after Ed Jovanovski accidentally knocked the goaltender off his feet. Mark Stuart and Chris Thorburn each earned an assist on the play. The Jets collected nine shots to three for the Panthers in the first six minutes of action.
Tomas Fleischmann almost scored on a breakaway at the 12:30 mark, beating Ondrej Pavelec but losing to the top crossbar. He got another breakaway chance with three minutes remaining, but was stoned by Pavelec.
The Panthers would go on the power play at the four minute mark when Tim Stapleton hooked Mike Weaver. The Panthers collected three shots on goal, but could not capitalize, as the Jets cleared the puck out of the zone four times.
Florida got four quick shots on Ondrej Pavelec at the seven minute mark, with a big scramble in front of the Winnipeg goal, but there was too much traffic for the Panthers to shoot through.
Keaton Ellerby hit Blake Wheeler so hard he dropped his stick and just stood there for a minute. Four minutes later, Erik Gudbranson took Wheeler off his skates with a crushing shot to the chest.
The game was pretty close going into the third, but the Jets put the kibosh on any Florida comeback plans by scoring five goals on just 11 shots. Jose Theodore was pulled after the Jets scored a total of four goals on 24 shots. Scott Clemmensen allowed three more goals on only eight shots in relief.
Goal scorers in the third for the Jets: Kyle Wellwood (14), Brian Little (19), Nik Antropov (10), Blake Wheeler (14) and Evander Kane, with his second of the night (26). 13 different Jets wound up on the scoresheet as the Panthers head back to Sunrise for a weekend back-to-back against the Nashville Predators and the Ottawa Senators.