|Winnipeg Jets' Zach Bogosian (4) takes out Florida Panthers' Sean Bergenheim (20) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 1, 2012, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)|
Kane leads Winnipeg Jets to 7-0 rout of Panthers
WINNIPEG, Manitoba—Evander Kane scored twice and added two assists as the Winnipeg Jets routed the Florida Panthers 7-0 on Thursday night.
Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves to earn the shutout for Winnipeg, which moved within two points of first-place Florida in the Southeast Division. Kyle Wellwood and Blake Wheeler both had a goal and an assist. Jim Slater, Bryan Little and Nik Antropov also scored.
Kane is on a career-best eight-game points streak with seven goals and seven assists.
Jose Theodore made 20 saves on 24 shots in the start for Florida, which has played three fewer games than Winnipeg. He was pulled after Little's goal made it 4-0 at 4:35 of the third period. Scott Clemmensen made five stops on eight shots in relief.
Little's goal at 4:35 of the third came on a rare five-on-one break, with Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson the lone man back. Jets defenseman Randy Jones sent a short pass to Wheeler, who passed the puck across the net to Little and he popped it in over Theodore.
The fans gave the players a standing ovation for the rare attack.
Kane opened the scoring after he intercepted a clearing attempt by Keaton Ellerby from deep in his zone and quickly fired the puck past Theodore 4:01 into the game. Slater soon made it 2-0 when he took advantage of a rebound off Mark Stuart's point shot. Theodore was on the ice as the puck bounced to the side and Slater sent a wrist shot into an empty net.
Panthers left wing Tomas Fleischmann had two breakaways in the first period. His first shot went off the crossbar and the second was turned aside by Pavelec.
Wellwood's goal began the barrage at 1:49 of the third period. After Little's goal, Antropov scored on the power play at 8:06 and Kane added his second of the game just 12 seconds later.
The crowd started chanting "We want perfect" as it cheered for a shutout.
Wheeler netted the game's final goal as Winnipeg tied a franchise record for single-period goals with five in the third.
Notes: Florida has won three of five meetings with the Jets this season. They play once more in Florida. ... Winnipeg is 4-1-2 on an eight-game homestand. ... Florida had a four-game road-winning streak end. ... Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian was back after missing the past seven games with a wrist injury. ... Panthers LW Kris Versteeg missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury.