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Florida Panthers Stick Around Long Enough to Shock Sharks 3-2 ... Win Very Similar to Upset in San Jose last season


Pete DeBoer said the Sharks may be the best team in the league right now, so when San Jose got rolling against the Panthers on Sunday afternoon, it looked like things were going to get ugly.

The Panthers didn't do much against the Sharks, but stuck around long enough to get a most satisfying result. Despite trailing by a goal twice in the game, the Panthers somehow found a way to derail the high-flying visitors from San Jose as Jason Garrison's goal with just over two minutes remaining was the difference in a 3-2 win in front of an announced 16,217 at BankAtlantic Center.

San Jose had won nine of its past 11 games, losing just once in regulation during that time. Florida had lost nine of 11 – five of those defeats coming in overtime.

“We have to be patient against a team like that,'' center Stephen Weiss said. “We knew that wasn't our best two periods, but that's a good team. It's not easy to stick around against them. We found a way to win.''

As was the case last spring in San Jose, the Panthers looked like they were skating in mud against the quick and physical Sharks for much of the first two periods. Not only were the Panthers unable to test goalie Antti Niemi (Florida got off just four shots in the opening period) but were struggling just to put passes together and get the puck out of its own zone.

The Sharks scored first when Kent Huskins banged a puck past Tomas Vokoun in the opening period. Down 1-0, the Panthers were still in the game but weren't very competitive. Then, late in the second, former Panthers defenseman Dan Boyle hit Darcy Hordichuk hard. Bryan Allen took exception and ended up tangling with Jamal Mayers at center ice in front of the bench.

Allen ended up taking a game misconduct and didn't return until late in the game leaving the Panthers shorthanded, but the fight woke his team up. With 28.9 seconds left in the period, Mike Santorelli took a shot on Niemi that was blocked. Santorelli worked his way back to grab his own rebound and awkwardly shot the puck toward the net, the puck bouncing off the goalie and into the net to tie the score.

“That was a big play for us, sticking together, having [Allen] jump in there like that,'' DeBoer said. “[Allen's] a character guy. When one of your leaders gets involved like that, that's contagious, especially with a young team. I don't think it's an accident that we picked our game up and scored a goal after that.''

San Jose answered Santorelli's goal two minutes into the third to retake the lead, but the Panthers started getting their game together and put pressure on Niemi – Chicago's Stanley Cup winning goalie last year.

Chris Higgins had a great scoring chance go high with 14:05 left, but he made up for it a few minutes later when he corralled the puck from the corner and threw a backhanded shot that slipped through. Florida, again, had new life.

“They were really taking it to us for the first half of the game,'' Higgins said. “they're a good team and makes plays. We battled back. It seems like we've been on the losing end of games in which we played the better game. This was the flip result for us.''

The Panthers continued to keep heat on Niemi and refused to give up the puck on one big possession late in the game. During that marathon shift, the puck found its way to defenseman Jason Garrison. With Rostislav Olesz blocking Niemi's view, Garrison fired the puck through to give the Panthers their first – and final – lead of the night.

“We were able to maintain and battle through then finally put some pressure on them,'' said Garrison, who has three goals this season. Two of those were game-winners. Smiling when told of that stat, Garrison replied: “Shoot the puck. That's what I'm supposed to do.''

Sunday's game was very reminiscent of last season's surprising win in San Jose. The Panthers didn't do much in that game either, but like Sunday, they stuck around. Florida won as Allen – who got all of four goals last season – scored on a long shot in overtime. The Panthers have now beaten the Sharks three straight times.

“We weren't happy with the way we were in the offensive zone, but we stuck with it and poured it on at the end,'' Weiss said. “It's a win. We'll take it.''

--- Injured defenseman Dmitry Kulikov watched Sunday's game from the press box along with Evgeny Dadonov (broken finger), wearing a walking boot on his injured ankle. Joe Callahan was called up from the minors to replace Kulikov in the lineup.



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hey george when does tallon come back ? and do you think he left because all of the media attention? you need to get some questions for the deadline out of him! on tsn they are talking about wayne simmonds being on the trade block from la? who have you heard on camp there in florida whos on the trade block tsn saying booth and weiss are both in play?

yeah dude something is going to go down between la and the panthers

Sure, Weiss and Booth are in play but it better be a whole lot coming back for either of those players. I don't see either moving, at least not now. Florida would get better return for either player during the summer when teams aren't in the playoff race. And he went to scout in Europe; the media attention never bothered him. He doesn't care about that.

Great effort by team tonite.Problem is not players here it is management who never supports them.Nice win.

It is the players. Don't get me wrong, I kind of like this team. The player give consistent effort every night. The problem is they have little size and no go to scorers.

the problem is tallon waiving grabner! via dregger report, just critizing the florida panthers i love it tsn laughs at this team! he is going to get rookie of the year! looks good on are brand new gm !

To grabner superstar:

a couple of questions.

why do you LOVE IT? I know its a figure of speach but shouldnt you HATE IT. unless of course you're just a fan of grabner in that case you forgot to mention that he was a "throw in" in the ballard trade. (yes vancouver gave up on him also).
i guess you also posted your thoughts on the canucks sites also.....

unless of course you just want to find something that has happened and in hindsight use it in your bitching.

in that case we should have never let Dallas Eakins go to free agency!!! the team has never been the same........

Buddy ! i love it is yes a figure of speech, good you figured that one out. And second i love it because it makes you florida panthers fans and there "NEW" managment look like they still cant get it right, they are the laughing clown of the nhl here in canada! its been ten years since they made the playoffs, and choices like letting grabner go for free is why and shows that tallon just got luckey in chicago!
Yes i am a grabner fan, and yes i was a panther fan but not now i am sick of there gimmicks and punch lines of lies to put people on the ice instead of a product! its a shady hockey organization. to rpaul!

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/dregerreport/ read and enjoy on grabner

Unbelievable. Panthers beat one of the premiere teams in the league and I come here to find Mr. Lacks-An-Education going on and on about Grabner. Pathetic. Did Tallon turn down your advances or something? You seem to have a real hard-on for him.

Why do you post under multiple names, sometimes answering your own questions and hyping your own posts?

hey george just to let you know all those kings scouts were thier scouting stillman! tallon is going to pull the trigger on him for drafts picks on the 28th depending where the team is! would be nice to send a prospect there way to get simmonds though!
And he also has his finger slightly feathering the trigger for the 28th on almost all his UFAS thats why hes not renewing nothing via my ahl buddy from grand rapids is telling me!

on the game vs SJ.

Not much to say, they came out flat once again at home, sucked for 2.5 periods until we tied it then got a lucky goal from Garrison. That's it. Panthers were outplayed and they finally got lucky for once.

Now the Flyers are going to kick the crap out of us. So will the Red Wings.

TO GRABNER FAN.. Im sorry i didnt know that canada is laughing at us. that makes all the difference. your right..
so which Team should we be like.
TOR: with its owners icing a crappy team because they will sell out anyway.....
MTL= can only hire francophone coaches and just got manhandled by boston
VAN- well... hell they let GRABNER go....before us...
how about CAL/EDM/AND THE SENS.= all about equal...and going nowhere...
with all you canadians the problem is all these teams let their market(unrealistic fans) dictate a rebuilding process. hire a sutter fire a fire a sutter. trade 1st round picks for kessel to win now...the teams are so afraid to offend fans like you they would never waive a player like grabner because he may be a star somplace else...as it is now i dont see a canadian team being force year after year, (vancover is close but has cap issues).
so I guess your right. because canada is laughing at us......
oh by the way only two of the original six were canadian...
and your bacon is round.....but good..

I think it's time for all of us to agree, both Canadian and United Statesican, that Canadian bacon is, in fact, ham.


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