SUNRISE, Fla. The Florida Panthers are looking up.
At this point, it the only direction they can go.
The Panthers snapped their five-game losing streak Thursday night, barely hoisting themselves out of the NHL's basement. It is the first step in a turnaround Florida hopes takes shape as the team starts to return key players from injury.
"We're still not out of it," coach Kevin Dineen said following Florida's 6-3 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets. "Let's not kid ourselves. It's only one win."
Florida returned 20-goal scorer Kris Versteeg and two-way center Marcel Goc over the past two games. Stephen Weiss, Florida's usual top-line center and defenseman Erik Gudbranson are expected to rejoin the lineup next week.
The injuries to these key players forced Dineen to not only shuffle the roster to fill the void, but to also strike a perfect balance on each line. For a team like Florida, which does not have a superstar catalyst and relies on a two-way, team system, every piece of the pu...