Connect with us

Florida Panthers

Anton Lundell: OT Hero Helps Florida Panthers Win in Numerous Ways

Published

on

Florida panthers
Anton Lundell celebrates after scoring the winning goal in overtime as the Florida Panthers win their sixth straight - this one 3-2 over the visiting Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE — With the game on his stick, Anton Lundell knew precisely what was needed to help the Florida Panthers in overtime against the Ottawa Senators.

When he drove to the net at a sharp angle, Lundell saw an open spot and quickly picked the top left corner to seal the deal in a 3-2 overtime win.

“It’s a shot I’ve been trying to practice for a long time since I was younger,” Lundell said.

“I’ve had a couple goals from there here and there, but not too much. It’s a small angle. But when I got the puck, I saw the goalie was playing forward and I just tried to pick the corner.”

Bingo.

Lundell found his spot for his fourth goal in as many games and secured the sixth straight win for the Panthers.

But Lundell being on the ice in overtime was about more than just his recent stretch of goals.

When the Panthers initially squandered a two-goal lead in the third period, Lundell played heavy minutes in the defensive zone down the stretch to get them to overtime in the first place.

Coach Paul Maurice rewarded him with some minutes in overtime next to Matthew Tkachuk and Brandon Montour.

“There was a play late in the third where Anton really, really, backchecked hard, and it won’t get noticed,” Maurice said.

“But he killed a play in the corner and then broke the thing out. And that’s why he went out in overtime. Because he had done something good, and it’s not about earning anything. As a coach, you’re thinking ‘who’s got a chance?’ And Lundy was going in the third period, so good for him.”

It carried over into overtime as soon as he got his chance on the ice.

Lundell took a feed from Tkachuk at the top of the point off a cycle, drove in when he couldn’t find a good angle, and picked his spot.

“He made a good decision,” Maurice said. “The angle wasn’t there originally, and he waited for it. Showed some patience. If he had taken the shot at the original angle, we wouldn’t think too much of the opportunity. But he showed a pretty good presence there… Was a fine shot, so good for him.”

Lundell had Montour waiting at the backdoor, too, if he needed him but took his chances on the shot with a defender sitting in the slot and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo cheating over to Montour’s side.

“You could say I was open, but I have to watch it again,” Montour said.

“If he didn’t score that, I probably would have said something, but he is obviously a skilled player and he has all the confidence to make those plays and that was a nice goal.”

Lundell’s confidence has shone a lot more recently.

After hitting rough patches to start the season, he has been on a roll, scoring three goals and five points through his active four-game point streak.

A lot can be credited to a change in linemates, with speedy winger Evan Rodrigues adding an extra kick on offense.

“I feel like we have a lot of chances,” Lundell said. “Now we have been able to score some goals too. It’s huge for the team. Our big dogs, we all know how good they are. They’re scoring on the power-play and at 5-on-5. When we are able to have more lines scoring it’s even harder to play against a team like that. It just shows how strong we are.”

Maurice opted to make another switch to his line down the stretch, bumping Lundell’s usual left-hand man Eetu Luostarinen up to Tkachuk’s line while putting Ryan Lomberg on his line.

”I liked that. I thought we got a little bit more there,” Maurice said of the switch.

“They changed their lines a little bit and I wanted Luostarinen to have a little bit more of a defensive game with Bennett because we changed the matchup and I was grasping at straws. That’d be the truth.

“I thought Lomberg can do that, and he has to come up every once in a while to give us the jump, and I thought that line was as good or better when he went in there and then I thought we were a little stronger on the top two.”

Whether it sticks or not, Lundell enjoyed playing on that line down the stretch.

“Yeah, the Lomberghini,” he said with a smile.

‘He’s fast and he gives everything. You know what you get from him. He’s got speed, he’s strong, he fights, he never quits. So it’s fun to play with him as well. We had a couple of good shifts and we were able to turn the momentum over.”

And that momentum shift was exactly what the Florida Panthers needed when the Senators erased Florida’s two-goal lead in the third period.

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ CAROLINA HURRICANES

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: PNC Arena; Raleigh, N.C.
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 95.6 FM2,WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Last Season — Regular Season: Carolina won 2-1; Eastern Conference Finals: Florida won 4-0.
  • This Season (Panthers Lead 1-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Hurricanes 2 (Nov.10). At Carolina: Thursday; March 14
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 71-47-10, 11 ties
  • Postseason History: Florida 1-0 (2023 ECF)
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Washington, 6 p.m.

Get FHN+ today!