In a roller coaster of a game on Monday afternoon, the Florida Panthers faced the Anaheim Ducks at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise.
The Cats found themselves up by multiple goals twice, but the Ducks mounted comebacks and ultimately won 5-4 in overtime.
The Panthers have now dropped two in a row after a strong, nine-game win streak, which brings their record to 27-13-7. The Ducks improved to a lackluster 15-27-1.
The Panthers, known for their defensive identity, never took the lead as the Ducks rallied to erase both two-goal deficits. Panthers forward Sam Bennett expressed frustration, stating, “We weren’t playing hard hockey, and you know sometimes you get comfortable in those games and you just want to make plays and you know it ended up biting us tonight.”
Here are three takeaways from Monday afternoon’s game:
Sam Reinhart Continues to Shine
Sam Reinhart continues to shine individually. In the first period, he scored a shorthanded goal, becoming the first player in NHL history to score a special team’s goal in seven consecutive games. Reinhart’s remarkable feat adds to his impressive season, where he’s been named an NHL All-Star for the first time.
Barkov Injury Concerns
The Panthers faced a setback as captain and top-line center Aleksander Barkov left the game in the final minutes of regulation due to a lower-body injury. Coach Paul Maurice mentioned that Barkov has been dealing with the issue and was pulled early to prevent it from worsening. Maurice anticipates Barkov will be available for the next game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Special Teams Continue to Improve
Despite the loss, the Panthers’ power play continues to improve. They put the puck in the net twice on four power play opportunities for a PP% of 50%. The Panthers have now scored on the power play in nine consecutive games; it was the seventh game of the season with multiple power-play goals in a single game. On the other side of the puck, the penalty-kill squad continues to be superb for the Panthers, who are currently ranked the fourth best penalty-kill squad in the league, boasting a PK% of 84.8% on the year. The quality play continued Monday afternoon as the Panthers successfully killed off 100% of the Ducks’ power-play opportunities.