Florida Panthers comeback to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-2

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 22: Connor Brickley
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 22: Connor Brickley /

The Florida Panthers were facing off against the Minnesota Wild, in what would be a start to a four-game home stand. Would the Cats start their journey at home with a win?

Both the Panthers and the Wild were each playing their backup goaltenders tonight. James Reimer and Alex Stalock each looked sharp early in the first, keeping the game scoreless for the time being. Aaron Ekblad had a couple great scoring opportunities on the power play, but was denied by Stalock.

The Wild struck first on the power play, with Ryan Sutter blasting a shot home from the point. Mikael Granlund and Matt Dumba were both cycling the puck up top, eventually finding Suter open on the point. By the time Suter received the pass and let a shot go, the rest was history as they say.

But the Cats managed to find some light at the end of the tunnel, tying up the game before the period ended. Vinnie Trocheck received a pass from Alex Petrovic along the board side, quickly letting an unexpected shot go in the process. The shot managed to fool Stalock as he wasn’t ready, and because of that, the Panthers evened up the game.

After the first period of play, both the Panthers and Wild settled for a goal apiece, heading into the locker room after one.

The second period was well-played as both sides exchanged chances at both ends of the rink. Both Stalock and Reimer did their due duties of keeping pucks out, while keeping the score tied at one. However though, it was Minnesota who would regain the lead.

Through the halfway mark in the second, Daniel Winnik battled his way around Alex Petrovic, driving to the net, and one-handing his own rebound home, to give his side a 2-1 lead. The determination on Winnik’s goal was second to none, as he displayed a remarkable effort to score off his one-handed rebound.

No matter how many shots the Panthers threw at Stalock, he was there to deny every one of them. Winnik’s goal would be the only goal scored in the second, sending his side to the locker room a goal up, after two. The Cats would now have 20 minutes to score a goal, and ultimately tie the game.

Thankfully, the Panthers came storming out to start the third, and were rewarded with their efforts. Jonathan Huberdeau, who’s been battling a four-game point drought, danced his way around Nate Prosser and slotted home the game’s tying goal:

The Panthers weren’t done there, as Connor Brickley added a third, and gave the Cats their first lead of the night. Brickley’s goal was assisted by Keith Yandle, who took the initial shot from the point, which Connor pounced on and scored off of.

Minnesota fought hard to tie the game, but Reimer and the Cats prevailed. Jonathan Huberdeau would add an empty netter, recording his 11th goal of the year, and sending the Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Wild.

Overall, the Florida Panthers fought hard, and never gave up when they were down. When they managed to get the lead, they were able to preserve it and find an insurance goal. Your Panthers are back in action on Saturday, December 23rd @7:00pm against the Ottawa Senators