Florida Panthers cruise past the Anaheim Ducks 8-3

SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 26: Radim Vrbata
SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 26: Radim Vrbata /

After crashing to the Montreal Canadiens last game, the motivated Florida Panthers came rolling into Sunrise looking for the win.

Like last game, the Florida Panthers started the game off strong and were applying pressure down deep in Anaheim territory. Only this time, the Cats would score in the opening minute of the period.

Vincent Trocheck threw the puck straight towards the net, which found Vrbata who took a shot and was denied by John Gibson. After being stopped by Gibson, the loose puck came straight out and into the scrum. Standing alone was Radim Vrbata, who then received a pass from Connor Brickley and slotted home his first goal as a member of the Florida Panthers.

Three minutes after the opening goal, Brickley sauced a cross-crease pass to Owen Tippett, who then found the back of the net and recorded his first career NHL goal:

The Cats were buzzing at this point, but it was Kalle Kossila who spoiled the party two minutes later and cut the Panthers lead down to one. In the past, when the Panthers gave up a goal after dominating, they usually crumbled. However, not this time!

With three minutes left in the first period, Vrbata received a pass from Nick Bjugstad (who was behind the net). Vrbata cut in front of the goal and ripped a shot top-shelf. His goal would extend the Panthers lead to two, while also tallying his second goal of the night:

The Panthers headed into the locker room 3-1 up on the Ducks. The second period was now underway and this now meant that the Cats needed to continue pushing. Throughout the season thus far, the second period has been the worst period for Florida in terms of giving up goals. Tonight’s second period however, would be a little different.

Like the first, the Panthers quickly got off to a tremendous start in the second period. Around four minutes into the period, Vinnie Trocheck buried home a loose rebound given up by John Gibson. The initial shot was from Mark Pysyk, who quickly threw the puck on goal and luckily found Trocheck on its ways.

Four minutes later and the Panthers added to their lead again! Aleksander Barkov fought off Megna along the boards and quickly found Dadonov in the slot. Evgeni was left to bury the puck top-shelf and gave the Cats a 5-1 lead:

If you thought the Panthers were done right there, then you’re widely mistaken! Rushing down the ice short-handed was Derek MacKenzie and Aleksander Barkov. Barkov received a cross-crease pass from MacKenzie, who then roofed the puck home to give his side a 6-1 lead. The Cats were running away with this one!

Early on in the third period and the Anaheim Ducks found their second goal of the night. Andrew Cogliano batted the puck into the empty net and trimmed the lead down to four. The Panthers answered back shortly after and it was courtesy of Radim Vrbata who provided the goal.

Vrbata received a nice little lucky bounce pass from Trocheck’s skate and then slotted home his third goal of the night (a hat trick!):

Moments after Radim’s hat trick, former Panther (Logan Shaw) recorded his first goal of the season and cut Florida’s lead down to four. Ultimately, Dadonov and the Panthers would get the last laugh as they would finish the game off with the final goal.

Like his first goal, Evgeni received a beautiful pass from Barkov and sniped home his second goal of the night, 8-3 Cats:

Tonight was a perfectly played game by our Panthers in all three zones of the ice. The Florida Panthers will look to build off this game, as they welcome the Detroit Red Wings into the BB&T Center on Saturday, October 28th @7:00pm.