NHL: The Panthers almost ruined everything against the Avalanche

The Florida Panthers learned Tuesday night that no lead is too comfortable. After falling victim to a three-goal comeback from the Avalanche, the Panthers rebounded just in time to earn a 5-4 win over Colorado.

Aleksander Barkov, Sam Bennett and Brandon Montour all had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, while Matthew Tkachuk had two goals. Florida built a three-goal lead in the first period, but ultimately Tkachuk was the hero.

After a lackluster start to the game, the Panthers pulled out their claws with three goals within just over four minutes of game halftime. Barkov used good pressure from Anton Lundell in the offensive zone to accept a pass and score from the backhand.

Then defenseman Brandon Montour unleashed a good wrist shot into the faceoff circles to double the Panthers’ lead. Bennett racked up an assist for the game in a stellar effort to get Florida’s offense back on track.

Less than two minutes later, Bennett used a power play and a nice shot from Sam Reinhart at the mouth of the net to give the Panthers a three-goal lead.

The Avalanche finally gave a sign of life with 54 seconds to go in the opening phase. Andrew Cogliano deflected a Kurtis MacDermid shot in front of the net to cut the lead to 3-1 after 20 minutes.

It wasn’t until the end of the middle section that we saw another goal. In front of the net, Matthew Tkachuk saw Barkov’s shot partially blocked by Alexandar Georgiev. The puck then hit Tkachuk, who only had to drive it into back netting to put Florida back up a three-goal lead.

Tkachuk’s goal extended his game streak by at least one point to four. With this net he also reached the 50-point plateau that season. He is only the third player in Panthers history, behind Pavel Bure and Jonathan Huberdeau, to reach that milestone in 39 games or fewer.

Tough, the Avalanche reduced the deficit to two goals in the third period. Mikko Rantanen emerged from behind the net and slid the puck straight into Sergei Bobrosvky’s skate before it finally crossed the goal line.

Just 20 seconds later, Nathan MacKinnon attacked and eluded Bobrosvky’s vigilance with a shot through his cushions to make it 4-3. Rantanen had an assist in the game that helped him reach the 50-point plateau again that season.

The Avalanche thought they had made the comeback midway through the third period when Artturi Lehkonen’s return shot put the puck in the net. However, video replay showed Devon Toews in an offside position and the decision was overturned, allowing the Panthers to maintain their narrow 4-3 lead.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, stopping the Avalanche’s offensive machine once it’s under attack is very difficult. Seconds after the disallowed goal, JT Compher used Lehkonen’s screen in front of the net to score and level the game at 4-4.

However, the Avalanche made a misstep late in the third period and found themselves outnumbered. Tkachuk made Colorado pay for that error and netd a puck to put Florida back 5-4 ahead.

Sergei Bobrosvky stopped 27 of 31 shots aimed at him to get his 10e win of the season, on his 25the to encounter. At the other end of the rink, Alexandrar Georgiev had a busy night conceding five goals on 37 shots.

Florida meets the Golden Knights Thursday night when the Avalanche take on the Blackhawks.

#NHL #Panthers #ruined #Avalanche

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