In looking at the scoresheet, Sergei Bobrovsky made 16 saves in the Florida Panthers win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Six of those stops came in the second period.
Lucas Carlsson did not get credit for any of them.
Carlsson did end up with two blocked shots — both of them perhaps helping the Panthers to their 3-2 overtime win.
“It was an unbelievable save,” Andrew Brunette said afterward. “It was Bob-like.”
Florida was trailing the Hurricanes 1-0 early in the second when Bobrovsky came out to play the puck. Jesperi Kotkaniemi batted the loose puck toward the goal. Bobrovsky was too far out to properly play it.
Lucky for Bobrovsky and the Panthers, Carlsson had slid in behind his goalie and was able to somehow get the shaft of his stick on the shot. Jaccob Slavin jumped on that loose puck but put it off the crossbar.
Carlsson’s block in the vacated net, and later a block with his body while down on the ice, kept the Panthers from falling into a 2-0 hole.
That allowed Sasha Barkov to tie the score later in the period and help keep Florida close enough for some last-minute heroics from Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad.
“The guy had an open net so I was just trying to cover most of the net and it hit my stick,” Carlsson said following Florida’s practice in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday afternoon.
“I am just happy I saved it. I had no idea what was going on. I was just lying there, waving my stick. I guess it was lucky.”
Okay everyone, the contest for Save of the Year is now over.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 17, 2022
It was yet another top play by a young defenseman who continues to get playing time with the Panthers.
Carlsson, who came to the team in the Brett Connolly salary dump last season, is making the most of limited minutes (he did not play seven on Wednesday) but has up good numbers in a bottom-six pairing.
In 26 games this season, Carlsson has a pair of goals and eight points. He had 18 games of NHL experience in three seasons with the Blackhawks before coming to the Panthers.
FRANK THE TANK RETURNS?
The Panthers could be switching things up for Friday night, at least a little bit.
According to Jameson Olive of FloridaPanthers.com, the Panthers had Patric Hornqvist up on the second line in Thursday’s practice.
Frank Vatrano, who has been a healthy scratch in six of the past nine games, was on the fourth line replacing Ryan Lomberg.
Vatrano scored two goals the last time Florida played the Wild.
Brunette said it was possible Noel Acciari worked into the lineup.
UPDATE: Acciari is in, Vatrano is not.
“We’ll make some changes, possibly get Acch back in for one of the next two games. We haven’t really decided yet,’’ Brunette said. “Moving some things around, looking at how we finished (Wednesday) for the most part. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
— Bobrovsky will start for the Panthers on Friday night.
— Minnesota comes into the night winners of eight of its past 10 — but is coming off a 6-3 loss to Winnipeg on Wednesday night.
Florida comes into the game as the NHL’s scoring leader with an average of 4.06 goals per night; Minnesota ranks third at 3.78.
The two are ranked 17th (2.88) and 18th (2.91) respectively in goals-against.
— The Wild has won 13 of 14 on home ice.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT MINNESOTA WILD
- When: Friday, 8 p.m.
- Where: Xcel Center; St. Paul, Minn.
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- Streaming Only: ESPN+/Hulu
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM.
- Fanduel’s NHL odds — Florida favored: Puck line (-1.5, +184); Money line (-134); Over/Under 7 (+110/-134)
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Wild lead 18-7-2, 1 tie
- This season — Florida leads 1-0: @Florida 5, Minnesota 4 (Nov. 20)
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 8 Sam Bennett // 70 Patric Hornqvist
17 Mason Marchment // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 55 Noel Acciari
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
32 Lucas Carlsson // 62 Brandon Montour
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
35 Jonas Johansson
Scratched: Owen Tippett, Frank Vatrano, Olli Juolevi
Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Maxim Mamin (IR), Chase Priskie (IR), Joe Thornton (IR)
PROJECTED MINNESOTA WILD LINEUP
97 Kirill Kaprizov // 38 Ryan Hartman // 36 Mats Zuccarello
22 Kevin Fiala // 89 Frederick Gaudreau // 12 Matthew Boldy
18 Jordan Greenway // 14 Joel Eriksson Ek // 17 Marcus Foligno
52 Connor Dewar // 7 Nico Sturm // 21 Brandon Duhaime
25 Jonas Brodin // 46 Jared Spurgeon
4 Jon Merrill //47 Alex Goligoski
8 Jordie Benn // 29 Dmitry Kulikov
33 Cam Talbot
34 Kaapo Kahkonen