Vincent Trocheck scored three third period goals and Evgenii Dadonov added two as the Florida Panthers won a wild, offensive slug-fest with the Edmonton Oilers, that included two successful penalty shots. by a 7-5 count.
For the second straight game Aaron Ekblad opened the scoring with a power-play goal. Ekblad fired into an empty-net from a sharp angle after Denis Malgin missed the net from the top of the right circle with 2:14 left in the first period. Mike Matheson drew the second assist on Ekblad’s 12th, which was very similar to his marker against Los Angeles on Friday that was also set up by Malgin and Matheson.
The Oilers quickly answered 49 seconds later to even the score. After taking a little drop pass from Connor McDavid, defenseman Yohann Auvitu put a long shot on net and Patrick Maroon was able to steer the rebound around James Reimer.
The first of those aforementioned penalty shots came 2:46 into the second when Leon Draisaitl converted by patiently waiting before beating Reimer blocker-side for a shorthanded goal.
Malgin got the goal back for the Panthers at the 6:21 mark. Matheson lugged the puck deep into the Edmonton and found Malgin open in the high slot and he whipped it by Cam Talbot’s glove. Mark Pysyk drew the second assist on Malgin’s ninth of the campaign.
Edmonton regained the lead at 9:35 on Drake Caggiula’s tidy deflection of Kris Russell’s drive from the point. Jujhar Khaira was awarded the second assist for feeding Russell after some ferocious forechecking kept the Cats hemmed in their own zone.
Dadonov responded 23 later, taking a pass from Nick Bjugstad in his own end and speeding up ice before ripping a shot by Talbot’s glove from the high slot. Ekblad registered the second assist on the even-strength goal.
Trocheck put the Panthers up 4-3 just 18 seconds into the third period with a beautiful power-play goal. After taking a pass from Aleksander Barkov, Keith Yandle drifted into the neutral zone and then sprung Trocheck on a breakaway. Trocheck moved in on Talbot from the blue line and deked him out of position for the go-ahead score.
Trocheck struck gain on the power play 5:47 later to notch his 20th of the season. Trocheck played catch with Yandle before snapping a shot by Talbot’s glove from the top of the right circle. Jonathan Huberdeau picked up the second assist on the play.
The Oilers halved the deficit 48 seconds after Trocheck’s second when Anton Slepyshev took an entry pass from Maerk Letestu and went through Pysyk before going top shelf on Reimer for his third.
Dadonov was awarded a penalty shot with 9:14 remaining in the final frame and easily solved Talbot to restore Florida’s two-goal lead.
Pysyk’s defensive struggles continued when his clearing attempt hit Maroon and bounced to McDavid, who deftly one-timed it home for his 23rd at the 14:58 mark.
Trocheck completed his first career hat trick with an empty-net goal to finally put the Oilers to bed with one minute left in the game. Huberdeau drew the lone assist for his second point of the night.
With a rusty Reimer making his first start since January 23, the Panthers thankfully brought the offense to take two points from a game Edmonton squad. The Cats reclaimed fourth place in the Atlantic from Detroit, but more importantly pulled within seven points, with three games in hand, of Carolina for the final playoff spot in the east.
Full Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)
Gushers & Dusters
- It was the first time in NHL history that each team had a player score on a penalty shot.
- Vincent Trocheck’s first hat trick came in his 281th NHL game. Trocheck broke the 50-point plateau for the third consecutive season.
- James Reimer made 27 saves and posted his 14th win in his first start since returning to the roster.
- Cam Talbot allowed six goals on 39 shots and suffered his 20th loss of the campaign.
- Jonathan Huberdeau’s two-point night put him back on a point-per-game pace with a team-leading 53 in 53 games.
- The Panthers went 3 for 4 on the power play. That’s the fifth time the Oilers have given up three man-advantage goals in a game this year.
- For the other side of Florida’s fifth win in the last six games, check out Copper And Blue.