Panthers came back home Friday night to the BB&T Center after a week long break to take on the Vegas Golden Knights.
In a pregame interview with Doug Plagens, Florida Panthers Coach Bob Boughner mentioned how the Panthers tend to play well when trailing 1-0 early, but Coach said he wants the team to avoid that scenario and play hard to get the lead first and early.
Well Coach must be a magician or the players just know how to stick to his game plan.
Florida Panthers Jamie McGinn first shot-on-goal sunk in the net to take a 1-0 lead with 16:45 remaining in the first period.
Panthers were facing a new but good team the Golden Knights, and they returned the favor later in the 1st with a goal themselves to tie it up.
That lead didn’t last long, with the Panthers playing accurate, aggressive offense and playing short-handed, Aleksander Barkov bounced in a goal to take the lead to 2-1 late in the first, Panthers are NHL’s best in short-handed goals.
The second period was played a little different, less aggressively and playing to hold the lead. Vegas ended up out shooting the Panthers 15-8 and scored a goal to tie it up half way through the 2nd period.
Onto the third period, Evgenii Dadonov got a sweet rebound goal of a deflected shot by Barkov once again taking the lead and early. Panthers stuck with the 3-2 lead for most of the third until James Reimer let a shot slip right past him on a defensive flaw, to tie the game up late in the third.
Sudden death OT Aaron Ekblad decided it was time to go home by scoring the game winner. Jonathan Huberdeau led a breakaway passed it to Barkov his shot was blocked and unbeknownst to the Knights, they smacked the puck away from the open goal where Ekblad was wide open to rebound and shoot into the net.Overtime lasted as long as you reading this last tidbit, only 40 seconds.
Overall the team played with a plan, be aggressive, score early and play great defense.
Though the overall shots-on-goal doesnt reflect the defense, Panthers were out shot 36-26, but Reimer was able to save 33 of them.
There were many plays where Vegas couldve scored but Florida blocked their opportunities.
Panthers are back at .500 and go back on the road to face another great West team the Nashville Predators.
That game is Saturday night at 8 p.m. and you can listen to the game on 640 The Hurricane.
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