Recap: Panthers reel in two points with 4-3 shootout win over Sharks

Reinhart ends it in the bottom of the fourth

Carter Verhaeghe scored late to send the game to extra time before Samson Reinhart scored the only goal of a four-round shootout to give the Florida Panthers a 4-3 win over former goaltender James Reimer and the San Jose Sharks.

The Panthers took an early lead when Aleksander Barkov notched a power-play goal with 6:17 left in the first period. Verhaeghe found Barkov open in the left circle, and as he is wont to do, instead of shooting, the captain centered to a marked Anton Lundell, Fortunately, Lundell was able to push the puck back over to Barkov, who fired it into the yawning net with Reimer now caught out of position.

Radko Gudas scored the only goal of the second period, and his first of the season, at  15:50 to give the Cats a two-goal lead. After playing catch with Gudas at the top of the offensive zone, Verhaghe passed to Matthew Tkachuk, who had the secondary assist on Barkov’s goal, and he sent a soft cross over to The Butcher for a  low one-timer into the back of the net.

Down by two, the Sharks turned the tables on the Panthers in the third, scoring three times in a 10:44 span to swim ahead.

A boarding call on Gudas late in the second and an delay of game penalty on Gustav Forsling thirty seconds into the final frame gave San Jose a two-man advantage that they converted at the 1:04 mark. After taking a pass from Erik Karlsson, Alexander Barbanov switched sides before sending a pass back across the seam to Timo Meier, who drove a one-time by Sergei Bobrovksy from the right circle.

Karlsson tied the game at 6:34, snapping a wrist shot past Bobrovsky glove-side after Nick Bonino beat Sam Bennett on an offensive zone faceoff.

A cheeky little backhand pass between his legs by Karlsson set up a long-range shot from Matt Benning that found twine through traffic to put San Jose ahead with 9:12 left on the clock. The secondary assist on Benning first goal went to Logan Couture.

With Bobrovsky off for an extra attacker. Tkachuk collected his third helper of the night while behind the Sharks net. Tkachuk sent the puck out to Verhaeghe, who ripped a perfect shot back against the grain from a sharp angle by a befuddled Reimer. Lundell picked up his second assist on the game-tying goal, which came with 1:22 remaining in regulation.

In the shootout, Bobrovsky stopped Couture, Kevin Labanc and Meier while the red-hot Karlsson missed on his third-round attempt. Reimer made saves on Lundell, Barkov and Tkachuk before Reinhart ended it in the bottom of the fourth by finishing with a nice shot on the forehand. Reinhart’s still looking for his first official goal of the campaign, but bagging the winner with the game on the line  should give him some much-needed confidence.

Fins & Tales

  • With three assists, Matthew Tkachuk had a hand in all three of Florida’s regulation time goals. Tkachuk logged  24:42 of ice time, registered a game-high ten shots on goal, and was credited with two hits. The former Flames has put up 16 points (5G/11A) in 11 games to lead the team in scoring.
  • Erik Karlsson (one goal, two assists) matched Tkachuk’s three-point performance as the Sharks came very close to getting win number four. After a rough couple of seasons, Karlsson finds himself tied for second in the NHL in goals (10) and fourth in scoring with 18 points, which leads the league’s defensemen. An unreal start for the 32-year-old.
  • Patric Hornqvist left the game in the first period after taking a high hit from Luke Kunin. The Sharks forward was issued a major penalty and a game misconduct for an illegal check to the head. Aleksander Barkov’s goal came with 31 seconds left on the penalty.
  • Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 36 saves for the Panthers while ex-Cat James Reimer stopped 41 of 44 Florida shots. Some solid keeping from both goalies.
  • Nick Cousins tagged back in for the injured Colin White and produced two shots, a hit and a block in 14:35 TOI. After Lucas Carlsson played against Arizona, Matt Kiersted returned to the lineup and played 11:37 and had two shots and two hits.
  • The Panthers have won seven straight against the Sharks dating to January 21, 2019. Read more about it at Fear The Fin./