Recap: Persistent Panthers post 3-2 overtime victory over Ducks

Huberdeau wins it on Florida’s 55th shot of the night

Jonathan Huberdeau stole the puck from Troy Terry and then lifted his own rebound over John Gibson to give the Florida Panthers a 3-2 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks at FLA Live Arena.

Huberdeau’s 28th goal came 3:41 into the extra session and gave the Cats an eighth straight win, matching their season-high streak from October.

As they’ve been doing a lot lately, the Panthers fell behind early when Sam Bennett gave the puck up to Derek Grant behind the net and he centered out to Trevor Zegras. Ben Chiarot disrupted the initial play, but the puck ended up on Terry’s stick and he beat Sergei Bobrovsky up high for his 33rd goal at the 7:38 mark.

After Gibson stopped all 17 Florida shots in the opening frame, Anthony Duclair got the Panthers on the board 1:44 into the second. Duclair was looking out front for Aleksander Barkov and got some puck luck when his pass bounced in off the skate of rookie defenseman Jamie Drysdale. Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe were credited with assists on the goal.

Drysdale would help Ducks regain the lead with 2:36 left in the period. After Adam Henrique won an offensive zone draw from Barkov, he sent the puck back to Drysdale, who worked his way by Verhaeghe and centered into the slot. Grant was able to steer the puck off of Bobrosvky’s leg pad and into the back of the net.

Duclair would knot the score with 9:51 remaining in regulation to hit the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career. With the Cats up a man, Claude Giroux played catch with Barkov before going down low to Sam Reinhart, who sent a cross over to Duclair in the lower right circle and he hammered it home.

After getting denied by Gibson nine times, Huberdeau was able to give the Panthers the win on his career-high tenth shot on goal of the night. The heroic 52-save effort from Gibson aside, the Panthers dominated this one pretty much from start to finish to eventually get what was the right result. The victory, coupled with Toronto’s 5-2 loss on home ice to Buffalo, gave the Cats an almost insurmountable ten point lead over the Maple Leafs in the race for the Atlantic Division crown. Florida stayed six points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, with a game in hand, as the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Cats get two days off before facing the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. That will be the Panthers last regular season game against a Western Conference foe. Florida has beaten 26 different teams on home ice this season – tied for the most in NHL history with Boston (2018-19) and Winnipeg (2017-18). A win over the Jets will give them the record.

Tar & Feathers

  • Florida matched their single-game club record with 55 shots on goal, a mark they have now reached four times in franchise history. The Panthers have logged over 50 shots on goal in five different games this season, and have posted 40 or more shots 29 times. They also hit the 300-goal plateau for the first time ever. Juggernaut...
  • Jonathan Huberdeau’s overtime goal extended his point streak to a career-long 12 games. Huberdeau’s marker was the club’s 11th overtime goal of the campaign, surpassing their total from 2020-21 (10) as the most in one season in franchise history. The NHL record for overtime goals in one season is 12, achieved by three different teams in league history (Pittsburg in 2017-18, Los Angeles in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and Vancouver in 2006-07).
  • Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 22 of 24 shots to post his 35th win of the season, tying Roberto Luongo for the franchise single season record, a mark Luongo achieved twice (2005-06 and 2015-16). Bobrovsky’s 23 home ice wins also matched Luongo’s franchise record from 2005-06.
  • John Gibson’s 52 saves was the most in one game in Anaheim history. Gibson shared the previous record of 51 with Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Jonas Hiller and Mikhail Shtalenkov. After watching that performance, it’s hard to believe he is winless (0-10-3) in his last 13 decisions.
  • Congratulations to Anthony Duclair, who registered eight shots, on his first 30-goal season. The Duke joined Aleksander Barkov as the team’s second 30-goal man in 2021-22. Barkov’s assist on Duclair’s first of the night extended his point streak to eight games, one shy of his career-high.
  • See you next season, Ducks!/

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