After Aleksander Barkov’s power-play deflection goal, his first marker (finally!) of the season, with 8:56 remaining drew the Cats within a goal, Jonathan Huberdeau put on the superhero cape and tied the game with ninety seconds left and Sergei Bobrovsky off for an extra-attacker by whistling a wrister past Philipp Grubauer from just above the left circle after playing catch with Aaron Ekblad.
Huberdeau secured the bonus point for Florida when he took a pass from Barkov after a bit of broken play and slipped a backhander between Grubauer pads for his second of the night 29 seconds into the extra session.
Bobrovsky was very, very good for the Panthers in this one, finishing with 27 stops including a clutch glove save at end of regulation after the Cats gagged the puck up deep in their own end. Valeri Nichushkin probably saw the Russian keeper in his nightmares last night.
Matt Nieto and Joonas Donskoi beat ‘Bob’ in the first, but both goals were off rebounds from in close that the defense could have helped out a lot better on.
Nathan MacKinnon’s third period goal that put Colorado up 3-1 deflected off Anton Stralman’s leg on its way to the back of the net.
Speaking of deflections, Florida’s first goal of the tilt was of this variety with Colton Sceviour neatly tipping in Ekblad’s shot from the right point to tie the game at one apiece midway through the opening frame. The tally was Scevior’s first of the campaign.
After getting smoked in Vancouver, the Panthers came up with an impressive win to make the trek west a successful one.
The Cats (6-3-4) return home to face the Detroit Red Wings in a playoff position with 16 points and a 4-1-1 record over the last six games.
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Peaks & Valleys
- Nathan MacKinnon, who also picked up an assist, is the fifth NHL player since 1999-2000 to begin a season with a point streak of 12 games or longer. MacKinnon’s streak tied Joe Sakic for the fourth longest to begin a season in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history.
- Jayce Hawryluk left the game after he sustained an undisclosed injury on a hard third-period hit by Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov.
- Panthers with assists not mentioned above were MacKenzie Weegar, Keith Yandle Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov. Dadonov retrieved a blocked shot to restart the play that led to Huberdeau’s game-tying goal.
- Forward Jayson Megna made his Avalanche debut after being recalled from the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.
- Brett Connolly didn’t figure in the scoring, but he did register a team-high six shots on goal.
- Take the Rocky Mountain Way and visit Mile High Hockey for their take on the season series split.