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Florida Panthers: Goal Short of NHL William M. Jennings Trophy



William jennings trophy
Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck makes a save on the Florida Panthers in a 3-0 win on Nov. 24. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

The Florida Panthers came up just short in their quest to win the William M. Jennings Trophy for the first time, an award which goes to the team and its goalies which allowed the fewest goals in the NHL during a given season.

On Wednesday, backup Laurent Brossoit won the award for the Winnipeg Jets and starter Connor Hellebuyck as he made 18 saves in a 4-2 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks in their final game of the regular season.

Winnipeg came into the night with a three-goal lead on the Panthers and goalies Sergei Bobrovsky and Anthony Stolarz.

Florida ended up in second, a goal back of the Jets after losing two shootouts to Winnipeg’s one.

Had Winnipeg allowed three goals on Thursday, the two teams would have shared the award.

Hellebuyck and his teammates ended up helping their cause for the Jennings Trophy on Nov. 24 by shutting out the Panthers 3-0 in Sunrise.

Florida did score four goals on Hellebuyck on Oct. 14 in Winnipeg — but the Jets scored six.

The Panthers allowed 198 goals — but lost two shootouts giving it 200 for the season; Winnipeg gave up 198 but are charged with 199 after the Jets went 0-1 in their lone shootout game.

The award was first given out in 1982 and was named in honor of the late William M. Jennings, longtime governor and president of the New York Rangers.

It is presented annually “to the goaltender(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team(s) with the fewest goals scored against it during the regular season.”

Because Bobrovsky and Stolarz each played over 25 games, they both would have been credited for the award had Florida won it. Hellebuyck gets the credit for the Jets.

Stolarz ended his season ranked second to Winnipeg backup Laurent Brossoit in both save percentage (.928/.925) and goals-against average (2.00/2.03) among goalies who played more than 20 games.

Bobrovsky was tied for ninth with a .915 save percentage; his 2.37 GAA ranked fifth.

Again, among regular goalies, Stolarz finished third with 51 goals allowed in 27 games; Bobrovsky allowed 135 in 58 games.

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