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PANTHERS 4 JETS 3 (SO)

at the MTS Centre

Big Picture

One point from a shootout loss wasn't the end of the world for the Jets on Saturday. It brought them one point closer to the playoff line this morning, now just two back of eighth-place Washington, and only one behind ninth-place Toronto. Winnipeg has 50 points in 48 games, though the Panthers pulled ahead by four and back into the Southeast Division lead.

Little Picture

There was plenty of buzz and plenty of joy in the MTS Centre on Saturday night but the Winnipeg Jets needed one less "free pizza" -- the term coach Claude Noel loves to use about bad giveaways -- and one more play. Two third-period comebacks helped the Jets get a point but they are still winless when trailing after two periods, now 0-15-3, mainly because Florida had a pretty sweet free agent, Mikael Samuelsson, in the seven hole for the shootout and he decided the game.

Game Changer

Their third-period rallies should have qualified here but five of seven Jets shooters could not solve Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen, including the last three, and happiness for two shootout goals evaporated when Samuelsson beat Ondrej Pavelec for the winner.

Three Stars

1-Kris Versteeg, Panthers. Plays a ton. Has impact.

2-Nik Antropov, Jets. Two goals, Stepped up.

3-Scott Clemmensen, Panthers. Withstood the home onslaught, found a way to get his team a rare (recently) road win.

Next Up

Jets at Hurricanes, Monday, 6 p.m., CT, TSN Jets, TSN 1290

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2012 ??65533

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