Recap: Reinhart gets off the schneid in Panthers 5-3 win over Ducks

Cats finish west coast road trip with 2-2 record

Samson Reinhart scored his first two goals of the season (finally!) to help the Matthew Tkachuk-less Florida Panthers defeat the Reverse Retro-clad Anaheim Ducks by a 5-3 count at Honda Center.

Defenseman Brandon Montour, who continues to impress in an expanded role with Aaron Ekblad out of the lineup, finished the game with a goal and three assists.

Montour got his first assist of the night at the 11:31 mark when he took a backhand pass from Anton Lundell and ripped a shot at net that deflected in off Carter Verhaeghe with Adam Henrique off for tripping Aleksi Heponiemi.

Heponiemi, playing in his first game of the season, got his first point at 2:51 of the second when he received a drop pass from Lundell that was in his skates and was bumped off the puck. Montour swooped in and claimed the loose biscuit and got himself positioned on his forehand before beating John Gibson from the left point.

The Ducks would score twice in a 27-second span to tie the game. Henrique tipped Ryan Strome’s shot from along the left boards over Spencer Knight’s glove to halve the deficit at the eight-minute mark. Strome would get a goal of his own after Troy Terry did the heavy lifting and his weak shot deflected off Matt Keirsted’s skate before Kevin Shattenkirk directed the puck over to Strome on the other side of the slot, and he fired it in to the beckoning cage.

Reinhart, who got shootout winner in San Jose, finally got his first official goal of the 2022-23 campaign 2:55 into the third. Lundell won an offensive zone draw to Kiersted, who fed Marc Staal for a big shot from the right point. Ryan Lomberg dug the rebound free and then Reinhart got a handle on it before putting it in with Gibson lying on his back, praying to the old gods and the new that the shot would go high or wide. It didn’t, and the Panthers had the lead back.

Sam Bennett added on 5:15 later to give Florida’s its second two-goal advantage. Bennett sent the puck over to Montour, who blistered a shot wide. The rebound came to Eetu Luostarinen, who calmly centered to Bennett for the put-away from the low slot. Great shift by Luostarinen.

After getting hooked by Gustav Forsling on a breakaway, Isac Lundestrom was awarded a penalty shot with 1:14 remaining in regulation and he converted on the backhand to pull the Ducks within one. With Cam Fowler off for tripping the goal was officially a shorthanded one.

Reinhart would chase down Verhaeghe’s dump out after Montour broke up a Trevor Zegras rush and finish into the empty net with one second left in the game to complete the scoring. Fowler was still in the box, so the goal gave the Cats its second power-play marker of the night.

After a sloppy loss in Los Angeles the night before, the Panthers bounced with a strong road game with their best player sitting out due to a two-game suspension. The Cats outshot the Ducks 48-35, scored twice on the power-play (only the second time they’ve done that this season), killed off both of Anaheim’s man-advantage opportunities and won 60% of the game’s faceoffs. Nice to see Reinhart get off the schneid.

Tar & Feathers

  • Brandon Montour’s four-point performance matched a career-high. Montour played 25:15, had five shots on goal and blocked a shot.
  • In addition to bagging his first two goals of the season, birthday boy Sam Reinhart put a game-high seven shots on net.
  • He didn’t pick up point, but former Panther Frank Vatrano played an effective game for the Ducks, finishing with three shot, two hits, two blocks and an even rating.
  • Spencer Knight made 32 saves to raise his record to 4-1. Knight’s is sporting a 2.63 GAA and .903 save percentage.
  • Troy Terry’s secondary assist on Ryan Strome’s goal extended his point streak to five games./