The Florida Panthers tweeted out that any of their fans cleaning tonight may want to keep their brooms out and cheer on the Panthers as they try to sweep Canada. Well they probably should have put the brooms away before the game started because the Winnipeg Jets took their brooms away and beat them all over the ice with them.
The Jets came out flying as they applied the pressure early on the Panthers with some big hits, controlling the play throughout the bulk of the 1st period. Shawn Matthias put the Panthers on the board first with a soft goal on Ondrej Pavelec. But the Jets would answer back with a beautiful play by Jacob Trouba that would be tipped in by a Panthers defender to tie the game. After several penalties by both teams, the Jets would eventually be awarded a 5-3 powerplay in which they were able to score two goals on. The first was scored on a point shot from Tobias Enstrom and the second was tipped in by Blake Wheeler off a Zach Bogosian shot from the point.
In the second period, Evander Kane scored one minute into the period off of a pass from Michael Frolik on a two on one. Kane showed great skill and patience as he kicked the puck up to his stick and sniped the top of the net. Nic Bjugstad would make it 4-2 five minutes later after some sloppy play by the Jets. However, the Jets would regain their 3 goal lead late in the period with a goal by Frolik to make it 5-2 Jets.
The Jets would shut it down in the third as the Panthers were unable to score another goal and the Jets were able to hang on for the 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. The Panthers then went into the locker room and licked their wounds.
*Zach Bogosian's return to the lineup and made an immediate impact. Bogosian played well in his return, playing a physical game and recorded an assist in just under 18 minutes of icetime.
*Jacob Trouba continues to impress. His play alone is enough to give fans an optimistic view on the future. Although Trouba's goal was deflected in by a Panther defenseman, the moves he made to drive the net from the point and then attempt to slide a slick pass to an open Evander Kane was incredible to watch. Trouba recorded his 3rd multipoint game of the season scoring a goal and an assist on the night. What might be more impressive is he did this paired with Mark Stuart.
*Mark Scheifele extended his point streak to 5 games recording 2 assists on the night. Scheifele now has 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points on the season placing him in tie for 8th in rookie scoring. Scheifele's play has continued to improve and he is beginning to show why the Jets took him 7th overall in the 2011 draft.
*Evander Kane was engaged all night, throwing several big hits, agitating the the Panther players all night and eventually ending his night with mix up with Scottie Upshall. Kane played a determined and passionate game from the opening draw and is teammates seemed to follow. Kane finished the game with a goal, an assist and 6 hits.
*Michael Frolik continues to play a solid two way game and he appears to be the perfect compliment to Kane and Scheifele within the Jets top six.
*Andrew Ladd played the way a captain should as he was fully engaged all night. Ladd played physical all game, stuck up for his teammate Jacob Trouba, getting into a little altercation with Erik Gudbranson, and was able to record an assist on Frolik's goal by making a nice play to put the puck on net.
*Tobias Enstrom is good at hockey! Enstrom's hockey intelligence and skill were on full display tonight. Enstrom played great alongside Bogosian and was able to score a powerplay goal in the first period.
*Dustin Byfuglien and Adam Pardy played fairly well together. Byfuglien played particularly well recording 2 assists, and 3 hits in over 25 minutes of ice time. Pardy played 17 minutes and also recorded 3 hits playing a solid defensive game.
*After already making positive notes on the Jets defense, it's safe to say the team is better with a healthy defensive core.
*Pavelec played like Pavelec. He let in a a soft goal, but also made some really nice saves.
*Finally, the Jets won at home for the first time since November 15 against the Philadelphia Flyers. That's a long time for fans to have to wait for win. But at least the Jets were able to get their fans a win for the last home game before Christmas. I just hope they don't make the fans wait too long for the next one.