Recap: Panthers roar back to stun Bruins with 5-4 shootout win
Cardiac Cats make franchise history in Beantown
The Florida Panthers made a little franchise history in last night’s 5-4 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Florida came back to win a game after trailing by four goals for the first time... ever.
After a scoreless first period, the Bruins riddled starter Sergei Bobrovsky with a barrage of goals in the second, scoring four times in a 7:36 span starting at 11:55, when David Pastrnak opened the onslaught with a no-look shot, and ending at 19:31, when an unmarked Zdeno Chara netted a rebound, of a frame to utterly forget.
Joakim Nordstrom and Anders Bjork scored the other Boston goals, with Bjork coming on a power play.
Bobrovsky, who stopped all seven shots in the first, departed the game after the period ended with a total of 19 saves on 23 shots as his statistical struggles continued.
The Panthers returned for the third period with Sam Montembeault between the pipes and stream between their ears, and got a huge goal from Aaron Ekblad at 50-second mark, when he blistered in a shot from the left circle, with the assists going to Keith Yandle and Aleksander Barkov, to provide a much-needed spark.
With Chris Wagner off for slashing Josh Brown, Jonathan Huberdeau set up former Bruin Frank Vatrano for one-timer at 5:26 pulling the Panthers within striking distance with plenty of time left on the clock.
Huberdeau combined with Yandle on Mike Hoffman’s power-play goal 4:17 later to cut the deficit down to a single marker.
Yandle would complete the comeback with 1:39 remaining in regulation when he roofed a shot under the cross bar after Tuukka Rask denied Barkov’s backhand bid from in close. Huberdeau picked up his third helper of the night with a nice pass that sprang his center. Wow!!!
Montembeault came up large, finishing with 15 saves (nine in the third and a whopping six in overtime) to help get his club to the skills competition, where he stymied Wagner and Brad Marchand before yielding one to Charlie Coyle.
After Rask made a big glove save on Hoffman late in overtime, the veteran winger would get the ultimate revenge by solving that same hand in the top of the fourth round of the shootout for the deciding goal.
The Cats backup keeper would make the Hoffman’s conversion stand up, Vincent Trocheck scored in round two, with a fine pad stop on Charlie McAvoy.
Whatever warts the Panthers have 18 games into the Joel Quenneville era they sure are exciting watch, have proven they can hang with and beat the league’s best, and shown the opposition that no lead, for or against, is safe.
Florida returns home from its road trip earning four out of possible six points the hard way and will welcome the Winnipeg Jets to the BB&T Center for the first time since December 7, 2017.
Tea & Honey
- Jonathan Huberdeau tied Stephen Weiss’ franchise record of 249 assists. Huberdeau racked up his helpers in 485 games while Weiss did it in 654.
- Speaking of assists, with a pair of them, Aleksander Barkov’s five-game goal streak and has turned into a six-game point streak. Barkov has amassed 11 points in that span.
- Noel Acciari returned to Boston for the first time since signing with the Cats and registered two shots on goal and a hit in 12:50 TOI.
- Brad Marchand has picked up at least one point in each of the Bruins first ten home games, the ninth time a Bruins player has done that.
- Boston’s ten-game home point streak is its longest to start a season since the 1976-77 Bruins opened with 10 wins and a tie at Boston Garden.
- For more on Florida’s incredible off the mat win, visit Stanley Cup of Chowder. Things might be a little salty over there./