SUNRISE, Fla. – A controversial late goal tied the game, and the Winnipeg Jets made the most of it.
Andrew Ladd and Kyle Wellwood each scored goals in a shootout and the Jets beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Monday night.
Evander Kane scored two goals and Wellwood also scored in regulation for Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec stopped a season-high 39 of 42 shots from the Panthers.
Tomas Fleischmann scored two goals in the third period for the Panthers and Jason Garrison also scored for Florida, while Jose Theodore made 28 saves.
Each team scored a goal in the game’s final minutes of regulation.
It was Kane’s second goal that tied it 3-all at 19:10 that caused the disputed goal. There was a loose puck bouncing in front that Kane backhanded into the net in mid-air. One referee immediately waved it off but the others signalled goal. The goal was awarded to the Jets after a video review to determine if there was a high-stick.
“There were three calls on the play,” Kane said. “Disallowed, then they called it a goal on the ice, and then they went upstairs. I’ve never really seen that before, but it was nice to see them make the right call.”
The Panthers didn’t see it that way.
“When you get it waved off that emphatically, the referee is standing there and he waves it off three or four times, you’re under the assumption it’s going to be a no goal,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “It’s surprising, very surprising, that it would go from that to, all of a sudden, goal. When a guy’s waving it off that much, it’s a shame. I think some people will learn some lessons from that. I think there was a mistake made on the ice and unfortunately it cost us a point, a very expensive point.”
There were some nervous moments for Winnipeg as they waited for the review.
“No, I wasn’t confident, but I thought that it was good,” Jets coach Claude Noel said. “I wasn’t confident that it would hold up. The review is the review, they get a different angle and different people looking at it, so you just hope that things fall your way.”
Fleischmann’s second goal came on a power play with 2:10 left and gave Florida a 3-2 lead. His shot from between the circles went over Pavelec’s shoulder.
“I wanted to go down low but they took it away so I went to the middle and it worked out,” Fleischmann said. “I just shot it and it went in.”
Trailing 2-1 in the third, the Panthers tied the game on Fleischmann’s first goal. Mike Weaver’s shot was deflected backwards off the skate of a Jets’ player. Fleischmann picked up the puck before the defender could find it and swept it past Pavelec on the stick side at 3:13.
It was an important win for the Jets, in the midst of a seven game road trip.
“A big character win. We didn’t let that last goal put us down,” Ladd said. “We came back and found a way to get another one and get a win.”
The Jets scored the game’s first goal at 3:44 of the first. Ladd took the puck from behind the net, then centred it to Wellwood low in the circle. His one-timer beat Theodore.
The Jets stretched their lead to 2-0 on Kane’s power-play goal later in the period. Kane grabbed a loose puck in the left circle and his ensuing wrist shot got past Theodore at 9:58.
Florida closed to 2-1 with 20 seconds left in the first when Garrison’s slapshot from just inside the blue line went past Pavelec, just under the crossbar. It was Garrison’s third goal in three games and fifth of the season, matching his goal total in 73 games last season. Garrison leads all NHL defencemen in goals.
Notes: Florida F Marco Sturm skated in his 900th career game, becoming the first German-born player to do so in the NHL. … Florida C Marcel Goc played in his 400th career game. … The Panthers had a season-high 20 shots in the first period and 40 for the game. … The Jets are now 2-1 in their season-long seven game road trip. … The Panthers and the Jets (nee Atlanta Thrashers) played six one-goal games last season, with Atlanta winning four.