Florida played their way to a 5-4 shootout victory in a 4PM Sunday matinee over the Vancouver Canucks.
The first period would see the Panthers and Canucks trade off two goals each, as Jannik Hansen (10) and Sven Baertschi (4) lit the lamp for the 'nucks. Shawn Thornton (1) and Jaromir Jagr (10, PP) put it in the twine for the Cats.
The second period would see the two clubs repeat the pattern, again trading two goals apiece. Vincent Trocheck (10) and Aaron Ekblad (8, PP) scored for Florida, while Derek Dorsett (3) and Daniel Sedin (15) returned the favor for Vancouver.
After a scoreless third period and overtime, Brandon Pirri and Jared McCann traded markers in the first round of the shootout. Ryan Miller left after Pirri's attempt with what appeared to be a lower body injury of some sort, and was replaced by former Florida draft pick Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom turned aside Jonathan Huberdeau's attempt in the second round, and was matched at the other end when Roberto Luongo stopped Radim Vrbata. Aleksander Barkov scored what would be the game winner in the third round, first bouncing the puck off his skate and then getting Markstrom to bite on a long, swooping glide, easily slicing the biscuit over the prone Swede. It was over a second later when Luongo saved Sven Baertschi's attempt.
This was Florida's fourth straight win, and the opener of a six game homestand. The Cats will host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at 7:30, and will stay home through the New Year to host the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers, and the Minnesota Wild. Nucks Misconduct has more on Vancouver, and Silver Seven is all about Ottawa.