Aleksander Barkov scored his ninth goal of the season 2:30 into the third period to forge a tie, but the Florida Panthers ended up falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.
After starting the season 10-0-1, the Panthers have now lost three games in a row.
The Cats fell behind 13:37 into the first period when Teddy Blueger was left pen long enough to finish off a sweet little backhand dish from Kris Letang. Former Panther Mike Matheson drew the secondary assist.
Frank Vatrano took a pass from rookie Anton Lundell, who fought through his check to create a 2-on-1. and beat Tristian Jarry to tie the score 3:18 later. Sam Reinhart also collected a helper on The Tank’s third goal.
The Penguins retook the lead with 3:07 left in the middle frame after Barkov turned over the puck in Pittsburgh end. John Marino got the puck up to Jason Zucker, who sent Evan Rodrigues in alone and he ripped a shot under the glove of Sergei Bobrovsky from between the circles.
Barkov extended his point streak to eight games after taking a pass from Carter Verhaeghe, who did some nice work along the boards to create space after collecting MacKenzie Weegar’s miss, and beating Jarry glove-side.
Anthony Duclair appeared to put the Cats ahead late in the third, but the goal was rightly waived off for offsides after Barkov wasn’t able to hold the puck in at line.
The game eventually went to a shootout where Jonathan Huberdeau scored in the bottom of the second round to put the Panthers ahead, but the Penguins claimed the extra point thanks to back-to-back conversion from Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter. Jarry stopped Barkov, Patric Hornqvist and finally, Lundell to end it.
Jarry finished with 36 saves while Bobrovsky turned away 29 of 31 in his return to the net. A close but no cigar type of game for the Cats, who played much better than they did in Manhattan and Newark to earn a point, but the victory was there for the taking and they didn’t do it. The Panthers will finish off the four-game roadie tomorrow night in Tampa against the Lightning.
Snares & Chinstraps
- Patric Hornqvist registered two shots on goal and three hits in 14:29 TOI in his first game at PPG Paints Arena since being acquired in a trade from the Penguins on September 24, 2020.
- Sergei Bobrovsky made his first start in a week after leaving the game against Washington with an upper-body injury. Although Bobrovsky lost for the first time this season, he was still in fine form.
- Jonathan Huberdeau led the Panthers with five shots, but has now gone eight games without a goal. He has five assists in that span. More is needed.
- The penalty kills ruled the day with Florida going 0 for 4 and Pittsburgh 0 for 3 with the man-advantage.
- In addition to winning it in the shootout, Jeff Carter led the Penguins with six shots on goal and played 20:48, tops among the team’s forwards.
- Radko Gudas dished out a game-high eight hits and blocked two shots.
- For more on round two of the season-series visit Pensburgh.
Video Recap (courtesy of NHL.com)