ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Panthers fell behind by two first period goals on Friday, putting themselves in a familiar position.
Despite fighting back in the third, Florida found itself with a familiar fate: Another loss.
Minnesota's Charlie Coyle scored with 8:22 left to give Minnesota its lead back and a 3-2 win at Xcel Energy Center. The win was Minnesota's ninth in 12 games at Xcel and its third straight overall.
The Panthers have lost 10 of the past 11 games.
"It seems like it's the same picture over and over,'' coach Peter Horachek said. "We fight our way back into the game. .-.-. We're trying to get it out of our system.''
The Panthers trailed 2-0 going into the third but got goals from Tomas Kopecky -- his first of the season -- and Jonathan Huberdeau to tie things up.
Both players had been in a prolonged slump. Kopecky hadn't scored a game all season; Huberdeau shut out in his past 12.
"We're both happy to score, it's been a while,'' Huberdeau said. "We need to stop giving up the early lead. Everyone can see that we can play against the best teams. We need to play a full 60 minutes.''
Tim Thomas, making his fourth consecutive start, gave up two goals on eight shots in the opening period before the Panthers got on the board 3:31 into the third.
-- Center Nick Bjugstad had dozens of friends and family members attend his first pro game near his hometown.
Bjugstad was Minnesota's Mr. Hockey as a prep star in 2010 and spent three years at the University of Minnesota before leaving to sign with the Panthers. He got a loud ovation when announced for his assist on Hubderdau's goal.
After showering and getting dressed, Bjugstad waded back into the stands to greet his cheering section as seen in the above picture.