Recap: Samson snipes Samsonov to give Panthers 5-4 comeback win over Capitals
Cats regain the top spot in the NHL with monster four-goal rally
The Florida Panthers delivered a devastating third period performance, scoring four times on 27 shots to erase a three-goal deficit to defeat the Washington Capitals by a 5-4 count at FLA Live Arena.
Washington jumped out to an early lead when Connor McMichael scored on a bank shot off Sergei Bobrovsky at 5:52 and Beck Malenstyn finished off a nice setup by Brett Leason 11 seconds later. Malenstyn’s goal was his first in the NHL.
A screening Joe Thornton quickly pulled one back for the Panthers when he tapped in the rebound of MacKenzie Weegar’s blast after the defenseman took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau.
𝙅𝙐𝙈𝘽𝙊 𝙅𝙊𝙀‼️— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 1, 2021
The Panthers answer back and make it 2-1!@FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/uXQ4RZCOsQ
The Capitals got second period goals from recently returned Lars Eller and Nick Jensen, who picked up an assist on McMichael’s goal, to open up a three-goal and looked well on their way to beating the Panthers for the second time in four nights.
Ryan Lomberg kicked off the third period comeback with his second of the season at 3:23. After Eetu Luostarinen and Patric Hornqvist worked hard down low to keep possession of the puck, Hornqvist got off a quick shot that Ilya Samsonv denied, but the rebound came right to Lomberg and he pounded it home.
𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙇𝙊𝙈𝘽𝙀𝙍𝙂𝙃𝙄𝙉𝙄 brings the Panthers within 2!@FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/MkpKyHxInO— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 1, 2021
Luostarinen would track down Lomberg’s aerial pass, after he combined with Weegar to dispossess Evgeny Kuznetsov of the puck, and convert five-hole on the shorthanded breakaway to close the gap to one 2:36 later. The assist gave Lomberg the first two-point game of his NHL career.
THE SHORTY BY LUOSTARINEN! PANTHERS ARE WITHIN 1! @FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/V8N27GoqQW— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 1, 2021
A tie was forged at the 12:01 mark after a sequence of passes saw Huberdeau load up Ekblad for a bomb that was deflected in by Sam Bennett, who was credited with his eighth of the campaign. The power-play goal came about 50 seconds after Bobrovsky made a huge pad save on Garnet Hathaway’s backhand bid, the first of just two Washington shots in the final frame.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘾𝙖𝙩𝙨 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠‼️— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 1, 2021
3 goals in less than 9 minutes for the Panthers and they've come all the way back from down 4-1 to tie this game!!!!!@FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/tJpjNtTaxA
Florida’s power play would click again with 15 seconds remaining in regulation and Malestyn off for goalie interference. Samson would load up and solve Samsonov with a short-side wrist shot from the right circle after taking a crossing pass from Huberdeau, who collected his third helper of the night. Ekblad also picked up his third assist as the Panthers did a great job moving the puck around the offensive zone to produce the Reinhart game-winner.
𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗕𝗔𝗖𝗞 𝗜𝗦 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗟𝗘𝗧𝗘!!!!!!!!!!!— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 1, 2021
Sam Reinhart scores with 14 seconds left for the Panthers 4th goal of the period to take the 5-4 lead!!!!!!!!!!!@FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/q9P7SJf3fR
What a rally from the Panthers, who got off the mat and played one of the best period’s of hockey one could ask for. 27 shots on Samsonsov, who looked worn-out by the time Reinhart sniped him, an even-strength goal, a shorty, and two power-play markers... Wow! The win gives the 15-4-3 Panthers 33 points, which is the most in the league (tied with the Capitals and Toronto) and an NHL-best .750 point percentage (tied with Edmonton).
Stars and Stripes
- The Cats erased a three-goal, third-period deficit to win for the fourth time in franchise history (3/11/21at Colmbus, 11/12/19 at Boston, 2/10/09 vs. Toronto). Florida joined the Tampa Bay Lightning as only the second team to overcome a three-goal, third-period deficit to win this season.
- Samson Reinhart’s fifth of the season was his first game-winning and first power-play goal as a member of the Panthers. Reinhart is up to 13 points in 22 games played.
- Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 23 saves while Ilya Samsonov stopped 46 of 51 shots for the Capitals. Samsonov lost in regulation for the first time this season.
- Eetu Luostarinen bagged his first career shorthanded goal and added an assist for his second career multi-point game.
- Beck Malenstyn is the seventh Washington rookie to score his first NHL goal this season, joining Connor McMichael, Brett Leason, Aliaksei Protas, Hendrix Lapierre, Martin Fehervary, and Garrett Pilon.
- MacKenzie Weegar’s assist extended his point streak to three games. Weegar also registered six takeaways, tied for the most takeaways in a single game by any NHL skater in 2021-22.
- Dmitry Orlov picked up two assists and Trevor van Riemsdyk, Tom Wilson, Carl Hagelin and Nic Dowd also had helpers for the Capitals, who were 9-2-1 on the road coming into the game.
- For more on Florida’s season-series winner, head over to Japers’ Rink./
Video Recap (courtesy of NHL.com)