The Florida Panthers ended a streak of three consecutive
shootout losses with their most recent victory, giving them their
best start in 15 seasons.
Now, they’ll look to get a bit of revenge against the team that
started that previous slide.
Florida concludes its two-game swing through Canada on Thursday
night when it faces the Winnipeg Jets, who will try to end a
three-game losing streak as they play their first home game in 17
The Panthers (7-4-3) haven’t started a season this well since
going 8-0 with four ties to open 1996-97. Five different players
scored in a 5-1 victory over Toronto on Tuesday, ending a
frustrating stretch of shootout losses.
Jose Theodore made 38 saves to improve to 2-0-2 with a 2.16
goals-against average in his last four starts.
“I just saw the puck really good, so right after the first save
I knew I was going to see the puck well,” Theodore said. “I played
with a lot of confidence and from there the guys just took
Theodore made 28 saves Oct. 31 as the Panthers fell 4-3 to the
Jets in a shootout – a rare loss versus the former Thrashers. The
veteran is 5-1-1 in nine starts since the lockout against the
one-time Atlanta franchise, though he’s been pulled twice and
posted a 3.58 GAA in that span.
Florida has earned at least one point in seven of its last eight
games (4-1-3), though it misses out on picking up two in that loss
to Winnipeg when Evander Kane tied the score at 3 with 50 seconds
The Jets (5-7-3) wound up 3-2-2 on their season-long road trip,
but finished 0-1-2 after blowing a two-goal, first-period lead in a
6-5 overtime loss to Buffalo on Tuesday.
Winnipeg allowed Buffalo 12 power-play chances, of which the
Sabres converted four.
“We need to keep the game 5-on-5,” coach Claude Noel said. “We
would’ve liked to get two points, and it was in our grasp. I think
we shot ourselves in the foot because we were in the box most of
Bryan Little scored twice while Dustin Byfuglien and Tanner
Glass added a goal and an assist each. Captain Andrew Ladd, who had
an assist and a shootout goal in the last meeting with the
Panthers, also had an assist.
Defenseman Zach Bogosian doesn’t feel the Jets are built for
up-tempo, high-scoring games – even after opening the trip with a
9-8 win at Philadelphia.
“It’s fun when you score, it’s not fun when you get scored on,”
Bogosian said. “Run-and-gun type of hockey is not the way we want
Winnipeg hopes to get back on track against a Florida team it’s
had its way with in recent seasons. The Jets franchise is 7-1-1 in
the last nine meetings, with Ladd tallying two goals and two
assists in the last two matchups.
Winnipeg, though, has had to overcome some shaky goaltending
lately. Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason have a combined .892 save
percentage and 3.33 GAA.
Should Pavelec get the call Thursday, however, he might have a
good chance to get back on track after allowing six goals on 45
He’s 5-1-0 with a 2.17 GAA in seven career starts against the