August 3, 2015


Hockey

Panthers positive about rematch with Jets

WINNIPEG -- They've not been beaten outright in their last five games and the Florida Panthers feel they're on their way to better territory after 10 years out of the playoffs.

The Panthers are 2-0-3 in their last five, including three straight shootout losses, one of those to the Winnipeg Jets, tonight's opponents at the MTS Centre, on Oct. 31.

Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore (60) makes a save as Panthers defenceman Dmitry Kulikov, centre, and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin, right, battle for puck  in Toronto on Tuesday. The  Panthers won 5-1.

NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES

Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore (60) makes a save as Panthers defenceman Dmitry Kulikov, centre, and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin, right, battle for puck in Toronto on Tuesday. The Panthers won 5-1.

"It means a lot at the end of the season," new Panthers defenceman Brian Campbell said about the recent shootout results. "We've worked on it in practice and we realize that we need to find a way to win those games either in regulation if you're leading or in the shootout or overtime.

"But we like our team, we feel we have a playoff team."

Florida, with more than half a "new" team this season, is 7-4-3 out of the gate. After the three shootout losses, the Panthers went into Toronto on Tuesday and beat the Leafs handily, 5-1.

"I wouldn't say it was anything like a breakout game, just a game we needed to win and we got it done," Campbell said after this morning's skate at the MTS Centre.

"The team is coming along pretty good. So far, it's been somewhat of a success. We're still learning each and every day, which is good for our team that we keep on improving our game. With Kevin (Dineen, head coach) teaching us, we're listening to him and trying to implement it in our game."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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