In the latter part of the first period Tuesday night, Sportsnet tweeted out a highlight from the Florida Panthers game against the Colorado Avalanche.
“Not a Florida Panthers highlight account,” Sportsnet wrote, “they just won’t stop scoring tonight.”
It was a good first and second period for the Panthers as they looked more like their old selves and built not one but a pair of three-goal leads.
Only Colorado roared back to life, dominated much of the third period and eventually tied the score on a J.T. Compher goal at 12:07.
But Matthew Tkachuk’s second of the night came with 3:30 remaining and completely bailed the Panthers out as they pulled out a wild 5-4 win at Ball Arena in Denver.
Sasha Barkov, Brandon Montour, Sam Bennett and Tkachuk all ended up scoring for the Panthers with Sergei Bobrovsky coming up big in the final minutes with a total of 27 saves.
Andrew Cogliano scored for Colorado in the final minute of the first with Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon scoring within 20 seconds in the third to make it a game.
Compher ended up tying the score, but Florida cashed in on its two power play chances with Tkachuk getting the game winner with 10 seconds left on the man advantage.
The Panthers have won three of their past four as they wrap up their four-game trip Thursday in Las Vegas.
For one reason or another, the Panthers have not fared well off the Strip, going 0-3-1 against the Knights and being outscored 21-13 in the process.
THE GOALS OF THE GAME
- Panthers 1, Avalanche 0 (9:07, 1st): Anton Lundell dug out the puck from behind the net with some solid forechecking, got the puck to Sasha Barkov in low and the Florida captain did the rest. Barkov pulled in the puck, worked it around and sliced it past goalie Alexandar Georgiev through three Colorado defenders on Florida’s second shot of the night.
- Panthers 2, Avalanche 0 (11:54, 1st): Carter Verhaeghe raced through the offensive zone on the rush and dished it off to Brandon Montour who whipped a shot from the right circle.
- Panthers 3, Avalanche 0 (13:47, 1st): Sam Bennett scored from the slot off a nice pass from Sam Reinhart on Florida’s first power play chance of the night.
- Panthers 3, Avalanche 1 (19:06, 1st): Sergei Bobrovsky almost got out of an outstanding first period without a blemish, but Kurtis MacDermid’s shot from the circle was deflected in by Andrew Cogliano to get the Avs on the board.
- Panthers 4, Avalanche 1 (19:08, 2nd): Montour sent a slicing pass to Barkov who shot at Georgiev — only to have Matthew Tkachuk standing all alone on the right side of the cage to clean it up for his 21st goal of the season.
- Panthers 4, Avalanche 2 (6:29, 3rd): Mikko Rantanen worked the puck around the goal cage and fired one off Bobrovsky’s skate to give the Avs some life.
- Panthers 4, Avalanche 3 (6:49, 3rd): And Nathan MacKinnon took that life and breathed new energy into the Denver arena with a nice snipe on an odd-angled shot.
- Avalanche 4, Panthers 4 (12:07, 3rd): After the Avalanche had a goal taken away for being offsides, J.T. Compher got hit with a shot from MacDermid, corralled it in the slot and beat Bobrovsky to tie things up. Florida was being outshot 11-1 in the third at the time.
- Panthers 5, Avalanche 4 (16:30, 3rd): With 10 seconds left in their second power play, Tkachuk banged at the puck in front of the net and it bounced of both Evan Rodrigues and Cale Makar before going in.
VERY SPECIAL TEAMS
The Panthers got owned by the Stars on the penalty kill and power play but Tuesday was certainly a different story.
Florida cashed in on its first power play chance with Bennett’s goal — and the penalty kill looked more aggressive than usual as Colorado’s struggles with the man advantage did not catch a break.
The Avs came into the night with one goal in their previous 20 power play chances and Florida kept that futility going stopping all three chances.
KNIGHT TO IR
Alex Lyon was recalled from AHL Charlotte with Spencer Knight being placed on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed injury.
With Knight playing on Sunday in Dallas, he would have to be out for at least a week.
On Tuesday, coach Paul Maurice said that Knight “is not 100 percent” and that the Panthers “do not want to put him into the game. We’ll get him checked out, see what he has to work on to get back into the lineup.’’
— Florida also appeared to lose Eetu Luostarinen to injury during the third period as he hobbled into the room after blocking a shot from Devon Toews. Luostarinen did return, however.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Matthew Tkachuk, Florida (2 goals)
2. J.T. Compher, Colorado (goal, assist)
3. Sasha Barkov, Florida (goal, assist)
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- When: Thursday, 10 p.m.
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Split 1-1
- All-time regular season series: Vegas leads 5-2-1
- Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.