Ice Hockey
Takeaways: Rodrigues gets 4 points in Panthers 5-4 win over Stars
Takeaways: Rodrigues gets 4 points in Panthers 5-4 win over Stars
Apr 24, 2024 1:55 AM

SUNRISE —The Florida Panthers snapped a three game home losing steak on Wednesday night, defeating the Dallas Stars 5-4 at Amerant Bank Arena.

Evan Rodrigues led all skaters with four points. Sergei Bobrovsky had 29 saves in his 12th win of the season. Florida improves their record to 15-8-2 on the season.

Here’s my game takeaways.

The first-line carries again

When Florida needed offense this season, it’s usually coming from those on the first-line.

The trio of Sam Reinhart, Aleksander Barkov, and Evan Rodrigues are top-five in scoring amongst Florida skaters.

Against Dallas, Florida’s top line put on a show.

Rodrigues equaled his best game in a Panthers uniform on Wednesday, picking up four points (two goals, two assists).

“It’s definitely nice,” Rodrigues said when talking about his goals. “I had one against the Islanders (last game) that I should have put in and wanted back. It’s nice to bounce back and get a couple today.”

Sam Reinhart had three points, Aleksander Barkov had two, and both players scored a goal.

Reinhart is second in the league with 17 goals. He leads the Panthers in scoring with 32 points.

Multi-point night for Mikkola

The first year of Niko Mikkola in a Panthers jersey has been a great one for the Finnish defenseman.

Mikkola, 27, already tied his career high in goals this season (three) earlier the year.

On Wednesday night, Mikkola had two assists for just his second multi-point game of the season.

While it may be a surprise for some to see Mikkola near the top of the box score, his fellow countryman and captain thinks otherwise.

“It’s not surprising. I always knew he was a great player,” said Aleksander Barkov. “I’m really happy for him and it’s been going well for him”

Mikkola is second on the team in points by a defenseman with 10.

Panthers hold on after five goal third period

The final period of regulation was surely a fun one for the neutral fan watching Wednesday’s nationally broadcasted Panthers – Stars game.

After the first 40 minutes of play, the Panthers lead 3-1.

Florida, who entered the night fourth best in goals allowed in the third, didn’t have the same consistency against Dallas.

The Stars were able to score two unanswered to tie the game at 3-3 just 4:14 into the third period. Dallas would put three past Bobrovsky in the period before the final buzzer.

“Couple of strange ones there to tie it 3-3, but there really wasn’t the sag or the panic on the bench,” coach Paul Maurice said. “I liked the way the bench felt in the kind of momentum swings that we saw.”

Despite losing a multi-goal lead early in the period, Florida would get two goals of their own in the final 20, just scraping by for a one-goal win.

Panthers Notes

Florida’s next game is Friday, Dec. 8 at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson had one assist on Wednesday — he leads all Panthers defensemen in scoring with 13 points.

Carter Verhaeghe scored his 12th goal of the season.

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