The Panthers didn’t have much going Sunday night, yet they had Jaromir Jagr and Al Montoya.
That was enough.
With Jagr scoring twice and Montoya offering up another terrific start, the Panthers kept their winning ways going with a 2-1 win over Minnesota at BB&T Center.
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Florida pulled off Sunday’s win despite being outshot 39-28 and losing 62 percent of its faceoffs. Florida also went 0 for 5 on the power play.
“We didn’t have our legs and didn’t feel good about our game, but we had a good goaltender and that always helps,” Jagr said.
The Panthers, who went 6-0 on this now-completed homestand, extended their franchise-record winning streak to nine as they’ve won 15 of 18 since Thanksgiving.
Florida kicks off a six-game trip Tuesday in Buffalo.
“We looked like a tired bunch for whatever reason,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We found a way to win, and that was huge.”
Jagr wasn’t happy with his performance in Saturday’s win over the Rangers, sullenly tromping through the postgame locker room and refusing comment to the media.
Sunday was much different as Jagr gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead just 27 seconds into the game by taking a Dmitry Kulikov pass, thundering through the Wild defense and blasting a shot past Devan Dubnyk.
“He was all alone in front, so you better give it to him,” said Kulikov, who ended the night with two assists.
The Wild and Panthers didn’t do much else for much of the game, with the teams both playing the night before.
Minnesota tied it early in the second, but the Panthers retook the lead for good when Jagr drove toward the net and whipped a shot from 30 feet out with 11:08 remaining.
Montoya, 5-0 all-time against the Wild, stood tall as he won his fourth consecutive start in place of Roberto Luongo. Montoya has given up just one goal in each of his past four wins.
“I feel good, and I want to give this team a chance to win every night no matter the score,” Montoya said. “You don’t win as many games as we have without getting some bounces here and there, having guys step up every night.”
▪ Last month, Jagr sent out a tweet imploring fans not to vote for him for the All-Star Game, saying the new 3-on-3 format would be too much for him at his age.
On Saturday, Jagr was voted as captain of the Atlantic Division team, and he said Sunday he will likely travel to Nashville for it.
“I asked the fans not to vote for me, and they didn’t listen,” Jagr said with a grin. “I think they didn’t like me much; they want to see me dead. I’ll probably have to go; I don’t know what the rules are.
“I need to get into shape. Everyone else gets to rest, I have to play 3-on-3. Great. I’d rather be in Florida.”
▪ Center Nick Bjugstad returned to the lineup for the first time since leaving practice on Nov. 30 in St. Louis because of migraines.
Bjugstad, a native of Minneapolis who was a standout at the University of Minnesota, said the pace of the game took him by surprise after being out so long.
“I had to apologize to a few guys because I was trying to get used to the pace,” Bjugstad said. “I wanted to get my legs under me, play simple.”
▪ Florida captain Willie Mitchell played in his 900th NHL game on Sunday — with 288 coming with the Wild and 105 with the Panthers.
▪ Jagr’s goal was the quickest Florida had scored this season, besting his goal 51 seconds into Florida’s win over Washington on Dec. 10.