Ice Hockey
Panthers drop home game in 5-3 loss to Canucks
Panthers drop home game in 5-3 loss to Canucks
Jun 18, 2024 10:35 AM

SUNRISE — Saturday night at Amerant Bank Arena played host to an East vs West matchup between the Florida Panthers and visiting Vancouver Canucks.

​​The Panthers were able to overcome a two goal deficit to tie the game in the third period — but a late goal by Andrei Kuzmenko would end up being the winner tonight for the Canucks on route to a 5-3 victory.

Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes opened the scoring at 11:09 in the first period with a wrist shot goal from the point on the power play. The Canucks’ captain beat Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky for his first goal of the season.

The Canucks’ lead wouldn’ last long however. Just 20 seconds later, Florida’s captain Aleksander Barkov would tie the game up on a breakaway, slipping the backhand deke past Canucks’ goalie Casey DeSmith, evening the score at 1-1.

After 20, the two sides would go into the intermission tied. Vancouver led the shot department 15-11.

The start of the second was very similar to that of the first. There weren’t too many offensive chances either way for the first half of the period, and the score remained even.

Just before the midway point of the period, the Canucks would get their second power play of the night.

Florida was almost able to get out of their second kill of the night… almost.

With two seconds left on the man-advantage, defenseman Carson Soucy walked into the slot untouched, before he roofed his first goal of the season past Bobrovsky. Vancouver regained the lead 10:31 into second — going up 2-1.

The Panthers conceded twice shorthanded tonight.

“That will kill you, if you can’t clear the puck,” Paul Maurice said about the penalty kill postgame. “We got to be able to get it down, win those battles.”

Unlike the first period, where Florida immediately answered Vancouver’s opening score, the Canucks carried the momentum after their second power play goal of the night.

Less than two minutes after taking the lead, Vancouver would add another goal to their total.

Sitting atop the hash marks, Elias Pettersson quickly caught and released a pass from Andrei Kuzmenko, beating Bobrovsky for his second goal of the season — Vancouver went up 3-1 after scoring two unanswered.

Vancouver was all over the Panthers in the second, limiting the Panthers to just six shots on net. Florida went into the second intermission trailing 3-1.

Down two in the third, the Panthers needed life. They got that jumpstart from two of their top scorers.

With increased pressure on their forecheck, Florida controlled much needed o-zone time, and after a few shifts deep in Vancouver territory, Sam Reinhart got the Panthers back into the game.

After taking a lap around the Canucks zone, Evan Rodrigues layed a shot on net. DeSmith made the initial save, however Sam Reinhart, sitting atop the blue paint, put away the rebound for his team high fifth goal of the season. The Canucks lead was 3-2 with over 13 minutes to play.

Reinhart — who is from the Vancouver area — wasn’t done just yet.

With just over six minutes left in the third, Reinhart would get his second of the night from in front of the crease again — evening it up at 3-3. Reinhart is now has six goals in as many games on the season.

“Just try to find open ice around the net it’s kind of falling for me,” Reinhart said about his goal contributions.

Florida got back in the game, and so did their home fans. However, all the momentum they built up to that moment wouldn’t last long.

62 seconds after Reinhart tied the game, a defensive mishap in the Panthers’ zone caused two defenseman to go for the puck behind the net, leaving a streaking Andrei Kuzmenko open in front of goal. Kuzmenko easily took the puck around Bobrovsky to bury the eventual game winning goal.

Brock Boeser would ice the game with an empty netter — Vancouver got out of Sunrise with two points in a 5-3 win.

Previous Article:Florida Panthers weekend update: October 27 Next Article:Panthers defeat Leafs 3-1 in home opener, Bobrovsky moves to second on all-time wins list
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