Versteeg leads Panthers over Jets

BY foxsports • January 21, 2012

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- The Florida Panthers made themselves right at home in chilly Winnipeg.

Kris Versteeg scored two goals and added an assist and the Panthers snapped an eight-game road losing streak with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Jets on Saturday night.

Mikael Samuelsson scored the Panthers' winning goal in the seven-round shootout. Mike Santorelli also scored in regulation for Florida, which also ended a four-game skid.

"We just needed (the win), so throw all the stats out the window," said Scott Clemmensen, who made 41 saves for the victory. "(It) was a gutsy win for us."

Panthers coach Kevin Dineen praised his backup goalie.

"You look at his record (6-2-4) he's done a really good job for us this year," Dineen said. "That's the nature of life, you know. Sometimes you're waiting for an opportunity. When opportunity comes up you jump at it and he certainly showed that tonight."

Nik Antropov scored twice for Winnipeg, Alexander Burmistrov added a goal, and Kyle Wellwood had two assists.

"We had clear possession of the puck three times in our (defensive) zone, with really not a lot of pressure, and we served up three pizzas that ended up in our net," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel. "Having said that, we battled back."

Antropov agreed turnovers were the difference in the outcome.

"If you look at the tape, all three or at least two goals so far came from our turnovers," he said. "So it's unfortunate, but as I said we got a point so we're still in the race."

Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves.

Versteeg opened the scoring at 5:40 of the first period with a high backhand that went past Pavelec. It was Versteeg's team-leading 18th goal, but first in 10 games. He had gone four games without a point.

Santorelli's goal was reviewed, but stood as his sixth of the season with 16 seconds left in the first period.

Winnipeg had a two-man advantage for 53 seconds in the first period, but Clemmensen helped kill it.

Antropov scored a power-play goal at 5:06 of the second after Wellwood circled behind the net and fed a pass to him in front of the crease.

The Jets had outshot the Panthers 30-17 through two periods.

Winnipeg tied it at 5:54 of the third on Antropov's second goal, but 57 seconds later Versteeg took advantage of a Jets turnover to notch his second of the game and give Florida a 3-2 lead.

The Jets tied it again when Burmistrov's wrist shot went just inside the post at 13:45.

The Jets were without leading goal scorer Evander Kane, who told the team's medical staff on Friday that he was having headaches, and was diagnosed with a concussion. It is not known when or how he was injured.

NOTES: Jets RW Tim Stapleton sat out, but Winnipeg had D Zach Bogosian back after he missed five games because of an undisclosed lower body injury. ... The Jets will play their next six games on the road, and won't play at home until Feb. 7. ... The Panthers were outshot 40-20 during regulation.

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