SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers had to play without captain Sasha Barkov on Tuesday night, but a strong effort was not wasted in a 2-1 win over the still-winless San Jose Sharks.
The Panthers struggled to put the puck past starter Mackenzie Blackwood but did score twice in the second before holding on for dear life.
Florida actually trailed in this one despite a dominant performance where they spent much of the night in the San Jose zone.
The dam ended up breaking, however, when Carter Verhaeghe bounced one past Blackwood midway through the second; the Panthers got the go-ahead goal from Sam Reinhart 6 minutes later and kept on going.
Backup goalie Anthony Stolarz made his first start with the Panthers and made 27 saves to run his career record against the Sharks to 9-1-0.
Blackwood, on the other hand, was the only reason San Jose even had a chance on Tuesday night as Florida completely owned the opening period but could not put anything through.
Tied at 1, it appeared Mackie Samoskevich — called up earlier in the day — had a shot at his first goal as he stripped the puck from Ty Emberson and took off on a breakaway.
Samoskevich was pulled down by Nikolai Knyzhov as the two rolled into Blackwood yet there was no penalty shot awarded much less a penalty.
The Panthers would get a power play later in the period with Reinhart getting his seventh of the season.
Blackwood ended with 32 saves as he spent the final few minutes on the bench as San Jose threw whatever it had at the Panthers.
Kevin Stenlund ended it with an empty net goal.
THE GOALS OF THE GAME
- Sharks 1, Panthers 0 (8:30, 2nd PP): With 5 seconds left in their first power play, the Sharks broke the ice when William Eklund found Fabian Zetterlund all alone in front of the net.
- Panthers 1, Sharks 1 (9:48, 2nd): Carter Verhaeghe took a feed from Matthew Tkachuk and fired it on net — getting the puck to ricochet first off Kyle Burroughs’ leg and then his stick and past a goalie who had been terrific all night.
- Panthers 2, Sharks 1 (15:23, 2nd PP): Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s point shot comes right off of Mackenzie Blackwood and onto the stick of Sam Reinhart in the slot. That’s never good for a goalie.
- Panthers 3, Sharks 1 (19:58, 3rd EN): Kevin Stenlund ends it for the Panthers.
FHN’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1. Anthony Stolarz, Florida
2. Sam Reinhart, Florida
3. Mackenzie Blackwood, San Jose
PANTHERS ON DECK
SEATTLE KRAKEN @ FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
- Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
- This Season: @ Florida, Saturday; @ Seattle, Dec. 12
- Last season: Tied 1-1
- All-time regular season series: Seattle leads 3-1-0
- Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at Boston, 7