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Tkachuk, Reinhart & Bobrovsky Lead Florida Panthers to No. 9



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Sam Reinhart and Sergei Bobrovsky are joined by Matthew Tkaachuk as they celebrate the Florida Panthers’ nine-game winning streak following their 3-2 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

SUNRISE — With time perilously winding down in overtime, Sam Reinhart knew he did not have many options while carrying the puck up ice.

As fans at Amerant Bank Arena counted down the seconds as he received the puck from Sasha Barkov near the goal line with 2.4 seconds to go, Reinhart had to make a quick decision.

“I heard the crowd, so I knew time was running out,” Reinhart said. “But fatigue was settling in a little.”

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With Matthew Tkachuk defended tightly by a Los Angeles Kings defender near the front of the net, Reinhart moved to his backhand and got a shot off as quickly as he could.

“I was looking for ‘Chucky’ backdoor, and their guy stayed on him,” Reinhart said. “Time was running out, so I was just trying to take it to the net as quickly as possible.”

And he roofed it.

With 0.7 seconds left on the clock.

“It took way more [skill] than I’ve ever had, so I can’t even tell you what it feels like to be that skilled,” coach Paul Maurice marveled afterward.

“Those are special NHL hands.”

The goal was the 30th of what is a career season for Reinhart.

Since the start, Reinhart has been scoring goals in tight spaces near the front of the net.

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His elite hand-eye coordination was on full display in Florida’s improbable (?) 3-2 overtime win over the Kings on Thursday night.

“Nothing surprises me anymore with him,” Tkachuk said of Reinhart. 

“He’s the real deal. He has been playing amazing, their whole line has been amazing, and it was just a huge goal. I didn’t know there was that little time left.”

It took a while for the Florida Panthers to get into this game.

Trevor Moore roofed a shot through a sea of bodies 6:17 into the game to put the Kings ahead early.

It was only when Sam Bennett deflected an Eetu Luostarinen saucer pass with his skate to beat Cam Talbot midway through the second period that Florida tied the score at 1.

Drew Doughty gave Los Angeles the lead back on the power play with 21 seconds to go in the period as the Kings went into the third up 2-1.

It looked like Florida’s winning streak was crashing to a close until Tkachuk evened it with a deflection of a Carter Verhaeghe shot with 2:18 to go and Bobrovsky on the bench for the extra attacker. 

“We were trying to throw everything at the net and get people to the net, and luckily, it hit my stick,” Tkachuk said.

“There were a few close tips throughout the game for me, so I’m just happy that one went in.”

After an overtime filled with chances for both sides, the Panthers got their most significant opportunity on a power play with 1:23 left.

While most in the building thought Florida ran out of time, Reinhart beat the buzzer to give Florida its ninth straight win.

”I didn’t see anything. I thought it was over, to be honest,” Sergei Bobrovsky said.

”I was preparing myself for the shootout, but I’m happy. Sam has been doing that the whole season. He is a smart player; he is smart defensively and offensively. He keeps pushing us forward.”

The win puts the Panthers a point behind the Boston Bruins for the best record in the Eastern Conference at the midway point of the season.

At 27-12-2, Florida has the second-most overall wins and the third-most regulation wins (24) in the league.

“It’s going well for us,” Reinhart said. ”We’re really in the moment, taking it day by day. This was a really tough test tonight. I liked our battle – I liked our competition.”

And the Panthers like that their winning streak lives to see another day.

“We have won nine in a row right now,” Tkachuk said, “and the only things on our minds is trying to make it 10 on Saturday. We’re doing it the right way.”


Reinhart scored his 30th goal this season and got his third career regular season OT winner — all with the Panthers.

His game-winning goal with 0.7 seconds remaining in overtime was the latest OT goal scored in franchise history surpassing Dave Lowry’s winner at 4:56 on Oct. 30, 1993, against the Lightning.

With 30 goals in 41 games, Reinhart became the second-fastest skater to reach that mark in a season. Pavel Bure did it in just 34 games in 1999-2000.

Reinhart also has a power-play goal in each of his past five games, and in seven of his last nine. He leads the NHL with 15 power play goals this season which is one off his career high set over his previous two.

Oh, and his five-straight games with a power-play goal is a club record.

But wait: Reinhart has also scored the game-winning goal in each of Florida’s past three games, and in four of their past five.

  • Florida’s ninth-straight win is the third-longest winning streak in franchise history. The record is 13 in 2021-22 after the Panthers won 12 straight in 2015-16.
  • Florida has won each of its past four games in Sunrise including six of its past seven.
  • Tkachuk scored for the fifth consecutive game, the second-longest of his tenure with the Panthers. He had a six-game goal streak last season. He has 16 points (7-9, 16) over his current seven-game point streak.
  • Bobrovsky won his seventh consecutive game, tied for his longest win streak with the Panthers (March 3-31, 2022). Only Roberto Luongo (nine, 2015-16) has had a longer streak in Panthers history.



  • When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM 2;WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series (Florida leads 1-0) — At New Jersey: Panthers 4, Devils 3 (Oct. 16)March 15. At Florida:Saturday.
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Devils lead 57-36-7, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday vs. Anaheim, 1 p.m.

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