After the losing the first three games, the Cats finished its five-game homestand with impressive back-to-back wins over the Ottawa Senators and the Red WIngs.
After Mason Marchment, off a rebound, and Robby Fabbri, on a deflection, traded early goals, the Panthers power play clicked twice to give the hungry Cats a two-goal lead after twenty minutes.
Anthony Duclair drilled Sam Reinhart’s cross-ice pass by Thomas Greiss and under the cross bar at the 11-minute with Barkov picking up his second secondary assist, and Lundell notched his first with 1:58 left in the frame when he took a pass down lown from Sam Bennet and tried to find Marchment in front. The pass was tipped over Greiss’ shoulder by Detroit defenseman Gustav Lindstrom. The second assist on the play went to Brandon Montour.
The Panthers would score twice in a 4:07 span in the second period to chase Greiss.
Jonathan Huberdeau won a battle along the boards to take possession of MacKenzie Weegar’s pass and spotted Bennett open in the slot. Bennett would go backhand to forehand to pull Greiss to the ice before sliding in his 24th goal at 7:54. Weegar, whose shot credited the rebound on Marchment’s goal, picked up his second helper.
Lucas Carlsson would go coast to coast before beating Greiss with a wrist shot from the left circle to bring Alex Nedeljkovic into the game at the 11:01 mark. Carter Verhaeghe and Barkov collected the assists on Carlsson’s third of the season.
Lundell would get his second of the night when he finished off a pass from Frank Vatrano, who took a backhand feed from Reinhart, who knocked down a clearing attempt after a Red Wings faceoff win to start the scoring play.
That would be the only shot Nedeljkovic would yield. He made 15 saves relieving Greiss, who once was a thorn in the Panthers side. Greiss departed with 18 saves on 23 shots.
Tyler Bertuzzi would beat Sergei Bobrovsky blocker side after a Joe Veleno faceoff win with 5:14 remaining in the game to complete scoring.
Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots to collect his 28th win of the season and the Panthers moved past the Tampa Bay Lightning to regain the lead in the Atlantic Division by a point. The Cats picked up where they left off after beating Ottawa on Thursday, again dominating an inferior opponent, only this time the power play (2 for 3) was sharper and they were able to finish off more of their scoring chances. Florida gets today off before they play back-to-back games in Buffalo and Pittsburgh on Monday and Tuesday. They will return home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday before starting a run of seven consecutive road games (that will be split into two segments) in Los Angeles on Sunday. A busy week awaits.
Gears & Sprockets
- The Panthers posted their league-leading 25th home win and scored at least six goals for the tenth time this season.
- Lots on Anton Lundell, who finished with a game-high seven shots. This was the rookie’s third multi-goal game of the season. His first of the night was his first career power-play marker and his third game-winning goal of the campaign. His 14 goals are tied for the sixth-most by a rookie in club history, and his three winners are two shy of Mark Parrish’s rookie record.
- Strong performance from Aleksander Barkov, who drew a season-high three assists and won 14 of 18 faceoffs. Barkov breached the 50-point plateau and now has 52 in 42 games played.
- Rookie of the year frontrunner Moritz Seider saw his right-game point streak come to an end. Seider was the only Red WIngs defender to put a shot on Sergei Bobrovksy. He finished with three shots, three hits and three blocks while logging a game-high 24:06 TOI.
- Sam Reinhart registered his ninth multi-assist game of the season. Monday’s game will mark Reinhart’s first time playing against his old team, the Sabres in Buffalo.
- Defensemen Dan DeKeyser and Gustav Lindstrom drew the assists on Robby Fabbri’s nifty first period redirection.
- Mason Marchment scored a goal for the second consecutive game and Frank Vatrano picked up an assist for the third consecutive game. Brandon Montour registered an assist for the second consecutive game.
- For more on Florida’s dominating performance over Detroit, visit Winging It In Motown.