Goc, Panthers edge Canucks
|Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (R) stops a shot on goal by Florida Panthers' Stephen Weiss (L) during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Florida January 9, 2012. (REUTERS/Rhona Wise)
SUNRISE, FLA. - Scott Clemmensen made 25 saves and Marcel Goc netted the game winner in the middle portion of the second period as Florida clipped Vancouver, 2-1.
Dmitry Kulikov notched the other goal for the Panthers, who snapped a two-game skid.
"We believe that we can beat anyone in the league on any given night," Clemmensen said. "Vancouver's one of the best teams in the league and we think we can beat them and we showed it tonight. It's the mentality of this team. We don't expect to compete, we expect to win."
Dale Weise's first-period goal was the sole offence for the Canucks, who failed to capitalize on the momentum from an emotional, scrappy 4-3 win in Boston on Saturday.
Roberto Luongo made 20 saves in defeat, Vancouver's third in five contests.
Florida tied the game at the five-minute mark of the second as Kulikov followed up a Goc shot which kicked out to the left boards and beat Luongo to the near side from the circle.
The Panthers went up by a 2-1 count on a power play with 10:52 gone as Goc's second-chance swat at a loose puck in the slot slid past a sprawled Luongo at the left post.
Florida came under fire in the third, as Vancouver claimed a 14-2 shot advantage -- which was a reversal from the second period -- but Clemmensen did not falter.
"That second period enabled their team to believe they had a chance to win, and when a team starts believing, sometimes good things happen," Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault said. "In the third period their goaltender made the saves he needed to make and we couldn't score."
Weise put the Canucks on the board at 3:11 of the first period on a tip-in from the right side, finishing off a 2-on-1 break by flipping home a Manny Malhotra pass.
Vancouver had won three straight and four of the last five meetings coming in...Florida's victory was its first over the Canucks since a 4-3 shootout decision on February 1, 2008...The Panthers' last regulation victory against Vancouver occurred on October 20, 1999, a 5-2 result.