AT BANKATLANTIC CENTER
Hop back on the emotional roller-coaster that is life following the Jets, sports fans, where the buzz and good vibe from a two-game win streak can evaporate in the span of 20 minutes. The Jets were atrocious in the first period against the Panthers, but their warts are much more glaring than that. Even the most-gifted defensive NHL team would be hard-pressed to find success averaging one goal per game. Too many passengers against the Panthers, especially in the first. As Claude Noel put it, he had half a team in the opening 20.
The trip can be salvaged, and the anger will disappear, if the Jets take care of business Sunday afternoon in Montreal to win three of four. Otherwise, they will continue to attempt to tread water in the Eastern Conference standings while wearing cement shoes.
The Jets had rallied after Chris Thorburn's win over Krys Barch in a second-period tilt, but they were even with the Panthers for less than 20 minutes before Sean Bergenheim camped in front of Chris Mason and banged home a shot from directly in front of Winnipeg's net. One of many defensive gaffes.
1. Florida, Versteeg 20 (Samuelsson, Campbell) 15:46 (pp)
Penalties -- Burmistrov Wpg (slashing) 15:05, Bergenheim Fla (roughing) 18:10.
2. Winnipeg, Little 12 (Ladd) 11:29
3. Florida, Bergenheim 8 (Goc, Garrison) 14:27
Penalties -- Burmistrov Wpg (boarding) 4:22, Thorburn Wpg, Barch Fla (fighting) 10:59.
Penalty -- Enstrom Wpg (tripping) 13:22.
Shots on goal by
Winnipeg 6 8 7--21
Florida 10 12 8--30
Goal -- Winnipeg: Mason (L,6-6-0); Florida: Clemmensen (W,8-2-5).
Power plays (goals-chances) -- Winnipeg: 0-1; Florida: 1-3.
Referees -- Steve Kozari, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen -- Steve Barton, Bryan Pancich.
Attendance -- 16,773 (17,040).