The Panthers’ franchise-record winning streak came to an end at 12 games late Monday night in Vancouver — but it didn’t end without a fight.
Moments after Daniel Sedin snapped Florida’s run with an overtime goal in Vancouver’s 3-2 win, a scrum broke out along the Florida bench.
According to reports from the Vancouver locker room, Florida’s Shawn Thornton — who helped Boston beat Roberto Luongo and the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals — had choice words for Sedin and twin brother Henrik before overtime started.
Video shows Thornton on the ice before overtime saying something in the direction of the Sedins with a smile on his face.
The Sedins were not smiling.
“We have a lot of respect for their team,” Daniel Sedin said after the game, refusing to identify the Florida player or the comment in question.
“He acted very inappropriate. It’s something we hear every day, but that was crossing the line.”
After Daniel Sedin scored, captain Henrik Sedin skated toward the Panthers’ bench wagging his finger.
According to Vancouver’s Derek Dorsett, defenseman Alex Petrovic squirted Henrik Sedin with water from the bench, leading Dorsett to come over to confront Petrovic.
Instead, backup goalie Al Montoya gave Dorsett a shove with his glove hand, leading Dorsett to punch Montoya back.
“[The Sedins] were pretty mad,” Dorsett told reporters. “Montoya took a cut at me so I took a cut at him.”
The Dorsett-Montoya incident started a series of events in which a number of Florida players piled out of the tunnel and back toward the ice.
Luongo was among them, jabbing his stick toward Dorsett from behind the bench.
Montoya was also seen hopping onto the ice to confront Vancouver backup goalie Ryan Miller as skirmishes broke out all over the ice.
“One of their guys came over to our bench and tried to punch one of our guys,” Luongo said afterward. “He had 60 minutes to fight anyone on our team who was willing and able but he wants to do it after the game.”
Coach Gerard Gallant was in the middle and was seen being held back by officials and staff as he yelled at Vancouver assistant coach Glen Gulutzan as well as game officials and Dorsett.
Florida lost in great part to a late penalty on Jaromir Jagr which led to the Canucks having a 4-on-3 power-play advantage in overtime.
No disciplinary actions are expected from the league since the game was over and no real damage was done.
“It was much ado about nothing,” general manager Dale Tallon said Tuesday. “It was like a baseball fight. These don’t happen anymore, so people go crazy when they do.”
As for the game, even though the Panthers held a 2-0 lead at the first intermission, they didn’t look to be in control as the Canucks had numerous prime scoring chances against Luongo.
Florida led 1:20 in on Jussi Jokinen’s eighth goal; Jonathan Huberdeau scored with 33 seconds left.
Vancouver cut its deficit to 2-1 in the second, with rookie Jake Virtanen tying it with 2:38 remaining.
In overtime, Jagr was called for hooking with 2:53 left, all but sealing Florida’s fate. It only took 14 seconds for Sedin to find the back of the net.
The Panthers still have a franchise-record, 13-game point streak going (12-0-1) and lead Detroit by six points in the Atlantic Division race going into Wednesday’s game at Calgary.
“We played a better game Monday night than we did in our two previous games, but that’s the way it goes,” Tallon said.
“Sometimes a streak becomes a burden, but the guys weren’t happy how it ended. That’s a good thing. We’re going to try and start a new one.”
▪ Gallant’s mother, Rosie, passed away after a long illness last week.
Gallant left the Vancouver arena immediately without speaking to reporters to catch a red-eye flight home to the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island for Tuesday’s wake and Wednesday’s funeral.
Assistant coach Mike Kelly will coach the team Wednesday.
▪ Tallon said defenseman Aaron Ekblad is day-to-day after being boarded by Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks in Sunday’s win.
Ekblad sat out Monday’s game with what is thought to be concussion-like symptoms. Late Monday night, Hendricks was suspended three games by the NHL for the hit on Ekblad even though no penalty was called on the ice.
Hendricks is eligible to return for Edmonton’s game in Sunrise on Monday.
Wednesday: Panthers at Flames
When, where: 9:30 p.m.; Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta.
TV, radio: FSFL; 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN.
Series: Calgary leads 13-10-3.
Scouting report: Florida is 3-0-1 in its past four visits to Calgary including last year's wild 6-5 win as the lead changed hands six times. The Flames have lost their past two after opening the homestand by beating Tampa Bay last week.