Panthers capitalize on power plays, beat Jets
Goalie Roberto Luongo, who hadn't played since the season opener because of a knee injury, returned to action and led the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday in Helsinki, Finland.
Luongo made 32 saves as the teams split two games in Finland as part of the NHL's Global Series. This was Florida's first win in regulation this season.
Winnipeg star Patrik Laine, a native of Finland, scored three goals in the Jets' 4-2 win over Florida on Thursday and added a fourth tally in roughly 24 hours on Friday. Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg.
Panthers star Aleksander Barkov, who is also from Finland, did not get a point. However, he was picked up by Panthers goal-scorers Evgenii Dadonov, Mike Hoffman and Keith Yandle -- who had the go-ahead score in the second period - and Frank Vatrano.
The Panthers went 3-for-5 on their power plays. Only Vatrano scored at even strength for Florida.
Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck took the loss, making 22 saves.
Jets right winger and team captain Blake Wheeler had two assists on Friday and five assists in the two games in Finland.
Winnipeg opened the scoring on Ehlers' breakaway goal with 8:53 expired in the first period. Wheeler led Ehlers with a stellar pass, and Ehlers scored on his own rebound.
Florida tied the score as Yandle fired from the right point, and Dadonov got a deflection past Hellebuyck. The power play was set up when Mark Scheifele slashed Jonathan Huberdeau.
However, the slashing calls evened up as Yandle was sent to the box on a penalty drawn by Dustin Byfuglien. Laine then made Florida pay with his rocket shot -- top shelf, far side -- on the power play, giving Winnipeg a 2-1 lead with 17:16 expired in the first period.
Florida tied the score 2-2 on a power-play goal with 4:59 expired in the second period. Working off a terrific screen from Nick Bjugstad, Hoffman fired a missile that hit the back of the net. That power play was set up with Brendan Lemieux's high-sticking call on Troy Brouwer.
Another Lemieux penalty put the Panthers power play back to work, and Yandle's point shot went in off the skate of Winnipeg's Byfuglien with 26 seconds left in the second period.
Vatrano put the Panthers up 4-2 with 12:15 expired in the third period. Huberdeau stole the puck and was off to the races before his drop pass connected with Vatrano.
--Field Level Media
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