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Is Florida’s power play the newest phenomenon in the league?

Oct 18, 2011, 7:46 AM EDT

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Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

We all know about how the Florida Panthers changed everything up in the offseason and GM Dale Tallon had to spend like a madman to get the Panthers above the salary floor, but out of that chaos something bloomed. The Panthers have found themselves a competent and very capable power play.

In last night’s 7-4 win over rival Tampa Bay, the Panthers scored five power play goals and brought their league-high total of goals on the man advantage to eight. Florida has scored on 32% of their early power plays (8 for 25) and have used that advantage to beat Tampa Bay twice as well as the Islanders.

Seeing Kris Versteeg pile up three early power play goals might not be too surprising, but seeing defenseman Jason Garrison turn into a goal scorer from the point is. Meanwhile other guys like Ed Jovanovski, Tomas Kopecky, and Stephen Weiss are finding ways to make it all work as well and that’s not taking into account other guys like David Booth and Tomas Fleischmann who are working those power play units as well.

While you can’t count on that success to be maintained at that level of greatness, perhaps the Panthers and coach Kevin Dineen have stumbled upon their means of making a run at the playoffs in the East: Making opponents pay for their rule breaking ways. With the Panthers facing the Capitals tonight and their old friend Tomas Vokoun, the undefeated Caps had better straighten up and fly right… Or else.

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