|@ Panthers (34-18-7)||0||1||2||3|
Nick Bjugstad had the sole shot on goal for either team in the first four minutes of play. Overall, the first half of the period was fairly quiet in general. Just a few minutes in, Tyler Myers slammed Jonathan Huberdeau into the boards and left him injured (of course). The Panthers would go on a power play because of the slashing call and Huberdeau headed to the locker room. The Panthers didn’t push that hard on the power play and the penalty was easily killed.
Mike Matheson was penalized for hooking in his first NHL game and the Panthers would be shorthanded. Luckily, the Jets were not able to put many pucks on net either and even strength play continued, but not for long. Garrett Wilson was sent to the box on a hooking call and possible future Panther Andrew Ladd capitalized. The goal was later credited to Nikolaj Ehlers. At the end of the period, the Jets led 1-0 but the Panthers held the edge in shots on goal 11-9. The Panthers looked good defensively in the first but need to work on their offense and their discipline. They didn’t shoot enough and they took too many stupid penalties, which ultimately lead to the Ehlers goal. It is definitely difficult to perform with so many injured players, but the Panthers can’t use this as an excuse. The offense needs to be better in the second and third, which will be even harder now that Huberdeau will not be returning.
The first eventful thing that happened in the second was very good for the Panthers. Jaromir Jagr scored to tie Brett Hull for third all time in goals. The goal was assisted by Jussi Jokinen and Dmitry Kulikov. Jagr saluted the cheering crowd after the milestone was announced. The Jets started picking up the pace after the goal but the Panthers regained momentum after Dustin Byfuglien was penalized for high sticking. The Panthers made some great passes during the power play but too much passing means not enough scoring, so the penalty was killed. Boos filled the arena as Vincent Trocheck was called for interference. Alex Petrovic was penalized for delay of game but there was not a long 5-on-3 at all because Matthieu Perreault was sent to the box on a tripping call off the draw. In the end, all of the penalties were successfully killed. Both teams were tied at one at the end of two. The Panthers held a slight edge in shots on goal 19-17. The Cats played a bit better this period but still must stay out of the penalty box to win this game.
Toby Enstrom started off the third with a hooking penalty that gave the Panthers another power play. A Reilly Smith slapper on the advantage gave the Panthers the lead. Dmitry Kulikov assisted the goal. The next couple of minutes featured a lot of quick play and a lot of ice coverage. Luongo and Hutchinson were both tested in this time period, but the Panthers remained in the lead. A one goal lead is never safe, though. It was a good thing the Panthers didn’t have to worry about that for much longer. Jaromir Jagr took sole possession of third place in all time NHL goals with his second of the night. The goal was assisted by Jussi Jokinen. With 2:32 left in the game, Mike Hutchinson headed to the bench to make way for an extra Jets attacker. It was no use. The Panthers won this game 3-1.
Record-breaking, game-changing Jaromir Jagr got the Panthers on the board in the second. Reilly Smith, another player with 19 goals, scored the game winner. Dmitry Kulikov assisted both of these goals. Jagr not only scored the first goal of the night, but he also scored the third to surpass Brett Hull. Jussi Jokinen assisted both Jagr goals. Luongo was also red hot tonight, saving every shot but one.
The Florida Panthers will finish off their home stand on Thursday, February 25th against the Arizona Coyotes at 7:30 pm ET. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.