In all of its entirety, the Florida Panthers had never rallied from a four-goal deficit to win until doing so on November 12th in Boston.
Well folks, Joel Quenneville’s Cardiac Cats pulled it off again last night, this time roaring back on home ice for an incredible 5-4 overtime victory over the Anaheim Ducks with the winning goal coming when Aaron Ekblad beat John Gibson short-side, bar-down 22 seconds into the extra session.
Ekblad had a huge evening, scoring the Panthers third goal at the 11:55 mark of the third period and then he centered his own rebound into the blue paint for Dominic Toninato to stuff the puck home 3:42 later to finally forge a tie.
Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau assisted on both of Ekblad’s goals. It was the first time in his NHL career that Ekblad scored twice in the same game.
The Ducks got the only goal of a first period they controlled when Max Jones lit the lamp with 2:45 left in the frame.
Anaheim added to its lead with three more in the second on Nick Ritchie’s one-timer, Rickard Rakell’s power-play marker and Ondrej Kase’s unassisted rebound goal, which came courtesy of an ugly Keith Yandle turnover that looked like it had put the Panthers in a hole they would not be able to climb out.
Fortunately, a Ducks turnover allowed Frank Vatrano to move into the Anaheim zone and set up Brett Connolly for Florida’s first of the night 24 seconds after Kase’s goal.
Connolly would score again 27 ticks of the clock later, with the assists going to Vincent Trocheck and Anton Stralman to seal the turn in momentum and pull the Cats within two heading to the third.
This time, Coach Q elected to leave Sergei Bobrovsky in the net down four and the move paid off with the Russian keeper stopping all ten Anaheim shots in the third period to finish with 28 saves and pick up his ninth win of the season.
Yes, Bobrovsky’s 3.47 GAA and .886 save percentage are eyesores, but his 9-4-4 record is pretty to look at.
Thanks to the monster comeback, the Cats are now 3-1 on the sixteen game run that will see them play fourteen of those games at the BB&T Center.
Tar & Feathers
- The Panthers joined the 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers as the only teams in NHL history to win multiple games in a season after trailing by at least four goals. Florida has 60 more chances to break the record, although falling behind by four is not recommended.
- Brett Connolly has four goals in the last three games and is up to ten for the season. Connolly, who had a career-high 22 goals last season for the Capitals, is now on pace for 37.
- Rickard Rakell extended his point streak to four games. He has put up five points (two goals, three assists) in the span.
- Anaheim goalie John Gibson surrendered the five Florida goals on 28 shots.
- Mike Matheson topped the Cats with four shots on goals, while Nick Ritchie did the same for the Ducks. Matheson is still looking for his first marker of the season.
- Not mentioned above, Mike Hoffman drew an assist on Dominic Toninato’s tying goal with a real nice pass to Aaron Ekblad, who was denied by Gibson before centering the rebound.
- For the other side of Florida’s latest escape act, check out Anaheim Calling.