Jets fall 4-3 in shootout
KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Florida Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen makes a save on Winnipeg Jets' Nik Antropov in the shoot-out during their NHL hockey game in Winnipeg Jan. 21, 2012. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)
The Florida Panthers beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday night at MTS Centre.
Bryan Little missed the net on the first attempt, and Ondrej Pavelec stopped Stephen Weiss on Floridaís first try.
Kyle Wellwood scored on a gorgeous deke to put the Jets up, but Kris Versteeg, who had two goals in regulation, evened it up with a backhand deke of his own.
Andrew Ladd missed the net on Winnipegís third try, as did Tomas Kopecky.
Blake Wheeler scored on a forehand deke, and Mike Santorelliís wrist shot sent it to a fifth round.
Nik Antropov, who scored twice in regulation, hit the post, but Pavelec shut the legs to deny Thomas Fleischmann.
Antti Miettinen was stopped trying to go five-hole on Scott Clemmensen, but Pavelec stoned Marcel Goc.
The crowd got loud for Alex Burmistrov, but he got poke checked by Clemmensen before he could get a shot off. Then Mikkael Samuelsson ended the game by going off Pavelecís left shoulder and in. It was just the second shootout goal of Samuelssonís career.
The Jets (22-20-6) fell four points behind the Panthers (22-15-10) in the Southeast Division. Pavelec, meanwhile, fell to 4-12 in shootouts in his career.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but Antropov, with his second goal of the game, tied it up 5:54 into the final frame. Versteeg, however, responded with his second of the night just 57 seconds later on Toby Enstromís giveaway.
The Jets continued to pour shots on Clemmensen, and that pressure finally paid off when Enstrom found Burmistrov at the side of the Panthers goal. Burmistrov slipped the puck past Clemmensen with 6:15 to go and tied the game.
Johnny Oduya had the best chance in overtime, getting a clear shot in the slot, but Clemmensen made the stop.
Versteeg, who had a hat trick in November when the Panthers played in Winnipeg, took a slick feed from Marcel Goc and deposited his 18th of the season past Pavelec 5:40 into the contest.
The Panthers made it 2-0 with 15.5 seconds left in the opening frame. Ron Hainsey tried to pass the puck to his partner in the corner, but it deflected off a Panther and out in front of the net, where it eventually bounced off Santorelli and behind Pavelec. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood.
The Jets got on the board 5:06 into the second period when Wellwood found Antropov at the top of the crease on the power play. Antropov roofed his seventh of the season.
The Jets will now head out on a two-game road trip against the Hurricanes on Monday and Rangers on Tuesday before departing for the all-star break.