Vincent Trocheck scored the winning goal in the shootout and Sam Montembeault stopped 25 shots to lead the Florida Panthers to a tough 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.
Montembeault made three more saves in the shootout to pick up his first win of the 2019-20 campaign, and with the way he played, he’s likely to add plenty more to his total.
The Panthers won for the first time past regulation time after dropping two overtime decisions, including Friday night’s loss to Colorado, and another game in a shootout.
Denis Malgin and Brett Connolly scored in a 5:36 span of the second period to stake the Cats to a two-goal. Malgin converted a pretty cross-ice pass from Trocheck with Florida on a power play and Connolly wristed home his fourth goal as a Panther through traffic from the blue line.
Roman Josi and Kyle Turris scored third period goal goals for the Predators to send the game to overtime. Josi ripped a one-timer off the far post and in for a power-play goal while Turris caught Montembeault leaning a bit and beat him short-side just under the cross bar with a perfectly placed shot.
Trocheck scored the only goal of the shootout in the second round, pulling Pekka Rinne to the ice before shoveling a backhander into the yawning net and then Montembeault closed things out by denying Turris to open round three.
This was a pretty impressive win for the Panthers, coming just 24 hours after going toe-to-toe with the powerful Avalanche and done largely without the services of number one center Aleksander Barkov, who departed the game early in the opening period. The Cats delivered their best defensive effort of the season, blocking 22 shots in the process, and it was nice to see them rewarded with a full two points.
Claws & Fangs
- Aleksander Barkov took three shifts (1:55 TOI) in the first period and did not return to the game. Hopefully, whatever it is, Barkov won’t be out too long.
- Brett Connolly’s marker upped his goal-scoring streak to three games. Connolly has really come on after a slow start.
- Other Panthers with assists not mentioned above were Dryden Hunt, Keith Yandle and Colton Sceviour
- Speaking of assists Ryan Ellis drew the primary on both Nashville goals. Matt Duchene also collected a helper for the Predators, who have now dropped three of four.
- Jonathan Huberdeau had his six-game scoring streak come to an end. The winger amassed three goals and five assists during that span.
- Pekka Rinne finished the game with 28 saves and blunted Mike Hoffman in the first round of the skills competition.
- Predator Milestones: Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith both played in their 600th career NHL games and Russian Yakov Trenin made his NHL debut.
- For the other side’s take, pay a visit to On The Forecheck.