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Jets top Panthers for first home win in more than a month
Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Evander Kane, Jacob Trouba and Michael Frolik each had a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets cooled off the Florida Panthers, 5-2, for their first home win in more than a month.
Tobias Enstrom and Blake Wheeler added goals to help the Jets end an 0-3-2 skid at MTS Centre since a shootout triumph over Philadelphia on Nov. 15. Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Scheifele each contributed a pair of assists to support a 21-save effort from Ondrej Pavelec.
"I thought the game was good, it was good to get the win at home," Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel said. "It's been awhile since we cleanly got a win (here at MTS Centre)."
The Panthers had a season-best five-game win streak halted despite goals from Shawn Matthias and Nick Bjugstad. Jacob Markstrom finished with 27 saves in the loss.
After spotting the Panthers an early 1-0 edge on Matthias' score off a Winnipeg turnover 7:45 in, the Jets struck three times before the conclusion of the first period to gain the upper hand.
Trouba potted the equalizer with the clubs skating 4-on-4 just past the midway mark of the opening session, skating in from the blueline and sending an attempted centering pass right through Markstrom's pads.
A pair of Panthers' penalties gave Winnipeg a 5-on-3 later in the period, and the Jets scored 33 seconds apart with the man advantage to grab a 3-1 lead.
Enstrom ripped a shot from the point into the upper right corner of the Florida net 4:36 prior to the first intermission, and Wheeler tipped home a one-timer from Zach Bogosian over Markstrom's right shoulder during a 5-on-4 situation.
"They came out really hard in the first, and basically won the game in the first period," Panthers head coach Peter Horachek admitted.
Kane converted a 2-on-1 with Frolik with just 63 seconds elapsed in the second period to increase the margin to 4-1, though Florida got some momentum back just under five minutes later.
After Scottie Upshall forced Kane to turn the puck over in the Winnipeg zone, Bjugstad ripped a wrister past Pavelec to cut the deficit to two.
Frolik restored the Jets' three-goal differential with 2:07 to go in the period, swooping in to knock home the rebound after Markstrom kicked away Andrew Ladd's initial attempt.
Pavelec protected the lead from that point on, turning aside all nine shots he faced in the third period.
Bogosian had missed Winnipeg's last 15 contests with a groin injury ... The Jets went 2-for-4 on the power play and have now scored with the man advantage in five of their last six games, going 7-for-23 during that stretch ... The Jets improved to 11-4-2 when scoring first this season ... Scheifele extended his point streak to five games, having recorded three goals and four assists during that period ... Frolik was drafted by Florida with the 10th overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft and spent three seasons with the Panthers from 2008-11.
12/20 23:52:53 ET