Panthers 3, Canucks 2 (SO)

Monte Stewart, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Florida center Jonathan Huberdeau was the only scorer in the shootout as the Panthers earned a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
Huberdeau deked Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo on Florida's first shootout attempt. Canucks left winger Chris Higgins hit the post on Vancouver's final attempt.
The Panthers (6-12-4) are winners of two games in a row for the first time this season. The Canucks (11-8-4) saw their losing skid stretch to five games.
Florida led 1-0 after the first period and the score was tied at 1 after the second before the Canucks went ahead early in the third.
Higgins and right winger Jannik Hansen also scored for the Canucks.
Right winger Brad Boyes and left winger Shawn Matthias tallied in regulation time for the Panthers.
The Canucks entered the game looking to end a scoring drought. The hosts scored just one goal in each of their previous four games.
But they struggled to turn the red light on against an old nemesis, Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas, who played his first game in Vancouver since backstopping the Boston Bruins to the 2010-11 Stanley Cup championship.
Boyes opened the scoring 3:43 into the game on a power play as he put in center Aleksander Barkov's rebound off the post.
Higgins fired center Mike Santorelli's rebound through a cluster of Vancouver and Florida players to create a 1-1 tie at 3:26 of the second period. With the goal, Higgins, who played part of one season with Florida in 2010-11, earned his first point in five games.
Hansen scored at 2:45 of the second period on a giveaway as Florida foolishly attempted a pass up the middle. He intercepted the errant puck and fired it over Thomas' glove to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead. The goal was Hansen's first since Oct. 6. He was only playing his second game since missing 10 with an upper-body injury.
Matthias forged a 3-3 tie at 8:34 of the third period as he one-timed a pass from center Nick Bjugstad.
The Canucks were forced to kill a holding penalty to Higgins early in overtime, but succeeded as Luongo made key stops on Barkov and Huberdeau.
Thomas also came up big as he stopped a hard slap shot by defenseman Jason Garrison in the closing seconds of the extra session.
NOTES: Canucks G Roberto Luongo is the franchise leader in wins for both Vancouver and Florida (108). ... RW Dale Weise returned to the Canucks lineup after missing 10 games with a knee injury. As a result of his return, fellow RW David Booth, whose salary this season is $4.5 million, was scratched and missed a chance to play against his former Panthers club for the first time since he was traded to the Canucks early in the 2011-12 season. ... Panthers D Ed Jovanovski, a former Canuck, missed his 22nd consecutive game with a lower-body injury. ... Vancouver D Jason Garrison played his former Florida club for the first time since signing as a free agent with the Canucks in the summer of 2012. ... Canucks C Mike Santorelli played three seasons with the Panthers. ... The Canucks and Panthers will face each other again in March in Sunrise, Fla.

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