Image credit @edmontonjournal
Momentum has been elusive for the Florida Panthers in the new year.
Once again the Cats had chances to put the game out of reach, yet once again they only reached misery.
A valiant early game rush of energy was a positive sign after the epic collapse in Pittsburgh Tuesday. Frank Vatrano (12) got the Panthers on the board midway through the opening period.
Unfortunately that elusive momentum was only present for 26 seconds as Darnell Nurse tied it up on a wrist shot through the five hole against James Reimer.
Malgin Steps up
Denis Malgin earned a spot on the top line with Sasha Barkov and Mike Hoffman and did not disappoint. Malgin notched his fifth goal of the season to put Florida ahead again 2-1 early in the second. The Panthers defense was pretty solid early and limited opportunities for Edmonton until once again a late-period mishap would bite them.
With just 22 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Connor McDavid (25) tied it up at 2 and sent the Cats to the locker room on edge.
Failure to Seal the Deal
The Panthers would take the lead for the third time when Henrik Borgstrom (4) made it 3-1 with just under six minutes left. However once again McDavid would prove to be a difference maker, knotting it at three with just eight seconds remaining.
To lose out on two points in that instant seemed to shock the Panthers. Neither team would score in overtime so the game entered a shootout, not the favorite territory for the Panthers. Florida entered the game 2-3 in shootout situations, a familiar foe would add the fourth loss.
McDavid got the trifecta as he followed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with shootout goals on Reimer to seal the victory for Edmonton.
Reimer (8-7-5, 3.16 GAA, .895 SV%) would finish with 21 saves on 24 shots on goal.
Next up for the Panthers they are right back at it Friday night when they travel to Calgary to take on the Flames. Face off at 9PM EST.
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