Florida Panthers defeat the Dallas Stars in shootout 4-3

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 14: The Florida Panthers celebrate their shoot out win against the Dallas Stars at the BB
SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 14: The Florida Panthers celebrate their shoot out win against the Dallas Stars at the BB /

After dropping a close game to New Jersey, the Florida Panthers were looking to open their one game home stand on the right foot. Would they come up victorious?

The Panthers started the game off quite well and were looking like a new hockey team. Two-way play between the forwards and defense looked great and was something we hadn’t seen for a while. The defense were moving the puck up quickly to the forwards, while hanging back and protecting Luongo in front of goal. For the first time this year, the Panthers were looking clean and tidy defensively.

It didn’t take long for the Cats to strike first as Jonathan Huberdeau put Florida on the board early on. While skating right into open territory, Vinnie Trocheck found an open Huberdeau and fed him the puck immediately. As soon as Johnny received the puck, he quickly sniped a shot top-shelf to give the Panthers the lead.

Ten minutes after the opening goal and Huberdeau recorded his second of the night. Barkov, who received a pass from Keith Yandle, quickly threw the puck on goal only to find Johnny in front. Huby tipped home the Panthers second of the night, as well as his:

As great as things started to look for Florida, their defensive game was starting to deteriorate and fall apart. Shortly after the Panthers’ second goal, the Dallas Stars capitalized on an odd man rush and cut the Cats lead in half.

After flipping a puck over Keith Yandle, Radulov and Benn went off to the races and headed straight down the ice. As they approached a stranded yet helpless Aaron Ekblad, Radulov sauced a puck between Aaron’s stick and straight onto Benn’s blade. Benn was left to put the puck in the somewhat empty net, which he did with ease. Jamie’s goal would be the last of the period and would take Florida into the locker room a goal up.

Early in the second, Jonathan Huberdeau went down with an injury after colliding with defenseman Stephen Johns. A shaken Huberdeau would head down the tunnel in quite some pain. In the meantime however, the Panthers were struggling without their star man and were letting the game slip right out of their own hands.

Just over ten minutes into the second period and Dallas found an equalizer. Like the first, Jamie Benn found the net once again and leveled the game at two goals a piece. After Luongo coughed up the puck from behind the net, Radulov quickly retrieved the puck and found Benn open in the slot. With an entirely open net, Jamie recorded his second of the night:

It wasn’t long after Dallas’ second goal where Remi Elie gave his side their first lead of the night. After a faceoff was won, Jason Spezza quickly found Elie in front and wasted no time getting him the puck. Elie immediately went to his backhand where he then backhanded a shot on goal. His initial shot redirected off of Weegar’s stick and into the net.

Like that, the Dallas Stars saw themselves leading throughout the entire second period, which they brought with them into the locker room after two.

The Panthers knew they needed to come flying in the third and they did just that. Aleksander Barkov recorded his sixth goal of the season and evened the game out at three. His goal would come off a shot from Michael Matheson, where the puck landed on his stick and was then tipped into the net:

The goal would be the only one scored in the third period, which helped the Cats reach overtime. Speaking of overtime, the extended period of play with 3 on 3 hockey was nothing short of a thriller. With lightning quick play headed in both directions, each side exchanged dangerous chances at both ends which provided some much-needed excitement.

As scary as overtime was for us fans, the Cats held on and were able to take this game to a shootout. Awarded to shoot first was Dallas, where Seguin took the first shot and scored. Next up was Jonathan Huberdeau and he unfortunately was denied. Jamie Benn who had the opportunity to extend the Stars’ shootout lead failed and was stoned cold by Roberto Luongo.

Up second for the Panthers was Aleksander Barkov and surely enough, he made no mistake. The shootout was tied up at one and was heading into the final rounds. Last up for Dallas was Alexander Radulov and he to was denied. This meant that Trocheck had the chance to seal the deal and give his side the win. Without a doubt, Trocheck slid the puck underneath Lehtonen’s legs and into the net.

Next: Florida Panthers: The next two months of hockey are crucial

Overall, tonight was an exciting game and it was even more exciting to see the Panthers prevail. There are still some areas that need to be worked on, however, there are also some positives that can be taken from this game. Your Florida Panthers travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks at 10:30pm on Thursday, November 16th.