It may not have been the best played hockey game, and as a result maybe best that both teams came out of it with points.
The shots in the first period favoured the Panthers 7-3, although Paul Postma hit a post and Bryan Little chipped one off the cross bar. The second period shots were 14-5 for Jets, while the third period shots came out 6-2 for the Panthers.
The only goal of the first period was off the stick of Jonathan Huberdeau, after a great move by Drew Shore to create the chance. The Jets got some momentum early in the second after Blake Wheeler's shot off the right wing eluded Scott Clemmenson to tie the game, but 1:24 later Tomas Fleischmann gave Florida the lead. Mark Stuart with his first of the year tied the game, with defenceman Zach Redmond picking up his first NHL point on the goal.
Stuart in a TSN Jets interview after the second felt the goal was deflected by Alexander Burmistrov but it stayed as Stuart's goal. Each team had a power play in the third but neither scored, so it was off to overtime.
It was the Panthers first overtime of the year, the Jets third. They lost in a shootout in Boston, and beat the Islanders on Evander Kane's winner and Kane played a part in the outcome of this game.
He drove the net off the right side and was tripped on the play giving the Jets a four-on-three man advantage, a power play that struggled until Zach Redmond put it on Bryan Little's stick in the high slot, and his wrist shot high glove ended it at 4:44 of overtime.
The goal by Little was his 200th NHL point, as it was for Wheeler. Tobias Enstrom picked up an assist to stretch his point streak to seven (2-9-11), the longest point streak of his career. Enstrom entered the game as the league's top scoring defenceman. The Jets entered the game as the team with the most points from defencemen, and added to that with five more, two from Redmond, in 20:53 of ice time, his third straight game over 20 minutes. Paul Postma played a career high 23:22. Jim Slater won six of seven face-offs.
With the win the Jets snap a three game losing streak and even their record a 4-4-1. The game started a stretch of five of six at home, after which the Jets play nine of 11 on the road.
The Jets meet the Toronto Maple Leafs at MTS Centre Thursday starting at . Catch the game live on TSN Jets, TSN Radio 1290 Winnipeg and TSN Radio 1050 Toronto starting at 7pm et/6pm ct.
Ron Hainsey in a TSN Jets interview after the first felt the team was way too tentative, playing "not to lose".
Captain Andrew Ladd in a post-game interview agreed.
"We were better in the second, and then we got a big penalty kill in the third when we really needed it."
Ondrej Pavelec wasn't overly busy but made some big saves when called upon.
"We were very good defensively, and even though the power play didn't go well, we found a way to win."
Coach Claude Noel when asked about Pavelec: "He wasn't tested much but helped us win."
Blake Wheeler was happy for Little on hitting a career milestone.
"Put him in that position and he will score most of the time," he sadi after the game.
More comments post game from Coach Noel:
"We were very tentative in the first, better in the second and looked like a tired team in the third. I liked the PK and liked the fact we only gave them two power plays. We were more aggressive on the PK, which we wanted to be. The power play was wild. We couldn't handle the puck, but one good play and it was in the net."
"I thought Burmistrov played pretty well," Noel said. "Made some plays."
In the end gettig two points tonight was more important than how the team got them for the Coach Noel. "Yes we gave them a point, but we got two," he said.
But Wheeler may have summed it up the best, saying "wins put smiles on faces."