Thursday, November 10, 2011

First Place Panthers Off to Best Start in 15 Years

Harvey Fialkov posted this on his Sun-Sentinel blog.

Some cool stats from Carly Peters of the first-place Florida Panthers

With the win, the Panthers moved to 8-4-3 on the season, totaling 19 points to top the Southeast Division and rank third in the Eastern Conference. Florida has its best start through 15 games since going 10-1-4 to start the season in 1996-97.

The Panthers are now 5-1-3 in their last nine games overall, collecting points in a season-high six straight contests (3-0-3). Florida also has a three-game win streak on the road and is 6-3-0 away from BankAtlantic Center this season.

Kris Versteeg registered his first career hat trick and gained the team lead with eight goals on the season. With four shots on the night, he added an assist to stretch his team lead in points to 17 (8-9-17) in 15 games. Versteeg tied his career high with four points in a single game (3-1-4) and registered his third multi-point game of the year.

Jason Garrison recorded his sixth goal of the year, already establishing a new, full-season career high just 15 games into the year, and moved back into a tie for first place in goals among NHL defensemen (DET, Lidstrom).

Dmitry Kulikov registered two assists on the night, stretching his career high and Panthers-team-leading assist streak to five games (0-6-6).

Tomas Fleischmann registered his 99th and 100th career assists of his NHL career. He also recorded a season-high +3 rating and has 11 points (4-7-11) in his last nine games.

Brian Campbell earned his team-leading fourth multi-point game of the season. With three assists on the night, Campbell is now tied for the lead among all NHL players with 14 assists on the year (WSH, Backstrom). The Panthers are now 3-0-1 when he tallies at least two points in a game.

Jose Theodore made 25 saves, including 15 important stops in the third period to earn his sixth win of the season. He’s now 6-2-2 in 11 games played/started this season.

Florida set a new season record for fewest shots allowed in a period after the Jets registered only four in the first frame. After the Jets registered the first four shots of the game, the Panthers held Winnipeg to zero shots on goal in a span of 23:27 (6:36 of first period-9:53 of second period). However, with Winnipeg’s 17-5 shots advantage in the third period, the Jets outshot the Cats, 27-20 in the game, tying Florida’s season records for fewest shots in a game and fewest shots against in a single contest.

The Panthers went 2-for-5 on the power play, recording their first multi-PPG game since tying a franchise record by going 5-for-9 with the man advantage Oct. 17 at Tampa Bay. Tonight marked just the third time all season the Panthers recorded more than one power play goal.

After a 2-0 road trip to Canada, which saw the Panthers top their opponents by a combined score of 10-3, Florida returns home to host Philadelphia Sunday at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports Florida and 560 WQAM.

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