Florida Panthers Rally for Shootout Win After Big Third by Sharks
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Paul Maurice said after Tuesday night’s loss in Arizona that this was the first time his Florida Panthers lost a game due to its play in the third period.
Thursday night, they almost did it again as the Panthers almost cost themselves another one in the third on Thursday.
After giving up three goals in the third period to erase what had been a two-goal lead, Carter Verhaeghe tied it late and Sam Reinhart won it in the fourth round of the shootout as the Panthers escaped San Jose with a 4-3 win over the Sharks.
Florida snapped a four-game road losing streak with the win.
”I don’t even know what to say about that one,” Matthew Tkachuk told ESPN following the game. Tkachuk ended with two assists off 10 shots on goal.
“That’s not how we draw it up at all, playing with the lead and it wasn’t a great third period. But Verhaeghe put up an unbelievable shot to get us the point with Bob and Reino secured the second one.”
Reinhart, it should be noted, does not have a goal this season — and since this one came in a shootout, he is still without one.
He’ll take it, though.
”Nice to see one go in,’’ Reinhart said. “It was definitely needed to see one go in and hopefully things will loosen up for me.”
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The Panthers led 2-0 going into the third period thanks to a power play goal from Sasha Barkov and a 55-foot blast from Radko Gudas.
Yet Gudas took a penalty at the end of the third giving San Jose a power play chance which turned into a 5-on-3 for 1:24 when Gus Forsling was flagged for shooting the puck into the stands.
San Jose cashed in with a Timo Meier goal at 1:04 of the period with a rejuvinated Erik Karlsson scoring 10th of the season to tie it at 6:34.
Karlsson’s pretty no-look, through-the-legs pass to Matt Benning — and his sharp shot past Sergei Bobrovsky — gave the Sharks their first lead at 11:48.
Florida, which stumbled around for much of the third, finally beat James Reimer when Verhaeghe got his fifth of the season with 1:22 remaining and Bobrovsky on the bench.
”That’s the advantage of the home team when the game is away from them and they get an early one in the third then you have a problem,’’ Paul Maurice said. “And we did. We were not moving around particularly well after that.
“But we have had so many games where we dominated the game and just couldn’t put one in. We were due for something good like this to happen. Great shot by Carter. We won’t look at this as a template for our game, but we earned any break we got.’’
The Panthers and Sharks traded chances in overtime with both Bobrovsky and Reimer making big saves.
Florida caught a break with 1:17 left in overtime when the Sharks were called for having too many men on the ice; the Panthers gave it right back on a Brandon Montour holding call 15 seconds later to wipe out the man advantage.
Barkov ended up having one of Florida’s best chances to win it with 18.8 seconds left when he was stopped on a breakaway by his former teammate in Reimer.
Florida took the early lead when Barkov scored with 4:29 elapsed in a five-minute power play after Patric Hornqvist was knocked out of the game on a high hit from Luke Kunin.
There was no update given to Hornqvist’s status following the game as Maurice said he would be evaluated in Los Angeles on Friday.
”He’s up and mobile and everything like that,” Maurice said.
Gudas made it 2-0 at 15:50 of the second as Florida was outshooting the Sharks 33-22 after two periods and had a 57-37 shot attempt advantage.
Yet the Sharks turned the ice their way in the third, outshooting the Panthers 14-5.
Neither team scored through three rounds of the shootout with Bobrovsky and Reimer going toe-to-toe with saves.
In the third round, Karlsson hit the post with Bobrovsky stopping Meier in Round 4 allowing Reinhart to win it.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Erik Karlsson, San Jose (goal, 2 assists)
2. James Reimer, San Jose (41 saves)
3. Matthew Tkachuk, Florida (10 shots on goal, 2 assists)
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT LOS ANGELES KINGS
- When: Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
- Where: Crypto.Com Arena, Los Angeles
- 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: Los Angeles won 2-0
- All-time regular season series: Los Angeles leads 23-14-0, 3 ties
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