Panthers cap successful road trip vs. Jets

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( - The Florida Panthers will try to add one more win to what already has been a successful road trip when they visit the Winnipeg Jets for Tuesday's battle at MTS Centre.

Florida is 4-1-0 on a six-game swing that ends tonight in Manitoba. The Panthers are now 11-6-6 as the visiting club and also find themselves just one point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston is currently one point ahead of the Panthers for the second wild card spot in the East, but Florida has played three fewer games than the Bruins.

The Panthers have posted their longest winning streak of the season by claiming the three most recent games of this trek. Their latest victory came Sunday night in Edmonton, as Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim scored in the third period to help Florida record a 4-2 decision at Rexall Place.

"We're a close-knit team. We enjoy spending time with each other, we enjoy sacrificing for each other," Florida defenseman Brian Campbell said about the team's success on the road.

Roberto Luongo made 31 saves for the Panthers, who have won three straight games for the first time since a five-game tear from Dec. 10-19 of last season.

After closing its trip tonight, Florida will head back to the Sunshine State for a five-game homestand. The prolonged stay at BB&T Center begins Thursday against Colorado.

Winnipeg lost for the fifth time in seven games Sunday in Anaheim, losing a 5-4 shootout decision at the Honda Center. The Jets won 5-4 in a shootout the previous night in Los Angeles.

The Jets fell to 2-4-1 over their last seven outings despite holding leads of 3-1 and 4-2 against the Ducks. Anaheim scored the only two goals of the third period to send the game to overtime and then won a lengthy shootout battle on Sami Vatanen's decisive tally in the sixth round.

Mark Scheifele had a goal with one assist and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 39 shots for the Jets, who finished 0-for-6 on the power play. Evander Kane, playing his second game after missing five with an injury, also scored for Winnipeg, as did Zach Bogosian and Andrew Ladd.

"We had a really good start to our game," said Jets coach Paul Maurice. "I thought we competed pretty darn hard, right straight through, even though things got away from us a little bit in the third period."

After going 1-1-1 on a three-game road trip, the Jets will be home for just one game before embarking on a two-game swing. Winnipeg is 9-9-3 at home this season compared to a 12-5-5 mark everywhere else.

Winnipeg is currently holding onto the first wild card spot in the West with 50 points, one more than San Jose.

Tonight's tilt marks the first of two scheduled meetings between the Jets and Panthers this season. Winnipeg has claimed three of the last four encounters overall and Florida has lost four straight at MTS Centre.

The clubs will complete the season series March 12 in Florida.