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Panthers end skid by clipping Wild in shootout

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Thomas and the Florida Panthers were eager to end their losing streak.

Brad Boyes and Jonathan Huberdeau scored in a shootout, lifting Florida over the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Saturday night to snap a three-game skid.

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Thomas made 31 saves for his first win since a 4-2 victory in the season opener at Dallas on Oct. 3.

“That’s exactly what I told the team before the game: ‘I’m tired of losing.’ And everyone else agreed that they were, too,” said Thomas, who made his second start since missing four games with a groin injury.

Boyes’ backhander went through the legs of goalie Josh Harding for the winner. Huberdeau beat Harding on the stick side for the first shootout goal, and the Panthers got a much-needed two points.

Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu were turned aside by Thomas in the shootout. Aleksander Barkov scored in regulation for Florida.

“We needed a win and we’ll take it any way we can get it,” Thomas said. “We won it in a shootout, but we earned that win through hard work.”

Jonas Brodin scored for Minnesota, and Harding stopped 21 shots. The Wild lost their third straight and managed two or fewer goals for the seventh time this season.

The Panthers tied it 1-all with a power-play goal at 6:49 of the third. Tomas Fleischmann took a pass from Brian Campbell at the top of the right circle, and Fleischmann’s slap shot was deflected into the net by Barkov.

Minnesota had a 5-on-3 for 1:19 midway through the third period, but the Panthers killed off both penalties.

“If you don’t score, you don’t deserve to win,” Parise said. “That’s the game right there.”

The Wild took a 1-0 lead on Brodin’s power-play goal in the second. His slap shot from the point was deflected by Florida’s Jesse Winchester and past Thomas at 4:05.

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Associated Press
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