It has been a while since the Florida Panthers have played a home game.
That one was a doozie.
On Jan. 29, the Panthers rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits in the third period before beating the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in overtime in front of the largest announced crowd — 18.152 — of the season.
“It was a lot of fun” coach Andrew Brunette said. “The group is just relentless. I think the feeling on the bench was we were having trouble scoring, but we were close.
“We just needed one play, then another. And we got a great one in overtime. It was a fun game. I am sure we are a very entertaining team. I think our fans left happy.”
Now the Panthers are back.
Florida kicks off a five-game homestand Tuesday night as they try and continue yet another impressive home winning streak.
When the season started, the Panthers won their first 11 home games to tie an NHL record.
Florida has currently won nine straight in Sunrise — and could set yet another franchise record with wins against Nashville, Columbus (Thursday) and Edmonton (Saturday).
Winnable games, all.
The Panthers know they have a bit of a target on their collective backs these days as they have the second-most points in the league (one behind Colorado) and everyone knows how they play on home ice.
Florida is a league-best 23-3-0 in Sunrise. The Panthers also lead the league by averaging 4.73 goals per home game, scoring them off a NHL-best 39.1 shots per game.
“We have a lot of character,” Jonathan Huberdeau said of Florida’s penchant for coming back at home.
“We would like to get the lead but we’re getting a lot of comebacks at home. That crowd tonight was amazing and really got us going.”