SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers may be the highest scoring team in the NHL but sometimes a top-notch goalie on his game, like John Gibson was Tuesday, can keep an inferior team in a game they have no business being in.
As John Gibson did Tuesday.
Gibson is a three-time All-Star now backstopping a bunch of kids in Anaheim who did not exactly bring their best against the Panthers on Tuesday.
Gibson did, however.
The Panthers dominated just about every facet of the game for three periods aside from the scoreboard as Gibson made 36 saves in the opening 40 minutes alone.
But even the best goalies in the game eventually succumb to the offensive dynamos from South Florida.
Gibson did not flinch — even in defeat.
The Panthers ended up tying the score in the third to force overtime where Jonathan Huberdeau scored to lead Florida to a 3-2 win and its eighth consecutive win.
That matches the longest winning streak of what has been a historic season.
The Panthers set a franchise record by winning eight straight to start this season; the franchise record for consecutive wins is 12.
The Panthers have also won their past eight games at home and became just the fourth team since the 1996-97 season to score 300 goals in a season.
It just took them a little time against Gibson — as the Panthers outshot the Ducks 55-24.
Florida came out of the gates getting plenty of scoring chances and took the first seven shots of the night against Gibson.
But on Anaheim’s first offering, Troy Terry got in front of the net all by himself and popped in a nice pass from Trevor Zegras to make it 1-0 just under eight minutes in.
Anaheim carried that 1-0 lead into the second despite being outshot 17-4 in the period with Florida taking 27 shot attempts to the Ducks’ nine.
Florida finally got on the board 1:44 into the second — and Gibson certainly was not to blame.
Anthony Duclair, who joined the 30-goal club later in the proceedings, threw up a shot from behind the net and watched it go off the skate of Anaheim defenseman Jamie Drysdale and in.
Florida was outshooting the Ducks 20-6 at that point.
The Ducks, despite being outplayed, stuck around as Gibson continued to make a number of big saves.
Anaheim did take the lead back, making it 2-1 on its 15th shot of the game when Derek Grant deflected a hard shot from Drysdale through traffic with 2:36 left in the period.
Gibson was besieged by the Panthers from the start of the third — and the barrage continued.
At one point, Florida was outshooting the Ducks 10-1.
Still, losing though.
The Panthers finally broke through on its second power play of the third, Duclair getting his second by one-timing a cross-ice pass from Sam Reinhart at 10:09 of the period.
Florida, as expected, kept on coming at Gibson and he kept on making saves.
Anton Lundell had a great look at the go-ahead goal with 2:36 left but was stopped. Florida did not get another chance in regulation and went into overtime outshooting the Ducks 50-23.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. John Gibson, Anaheim
2. Anthony Duclair, Florida
3.Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida