Image credit @UnderdogGraphix
The Florida Panthers finally look like they have hit full stride. And what a time to do it as the playoffs are right around the corner.
After scoring a beauty on Sunday, Aleksander Barkov converted with another classy finish and added two assists in the 4-2 Panthers win over the Sabres.
Even though the Panthers were making good plays offensively they could not get past Buffalos’s goalie Linus Ullmark. Reimer was also stellar at goal for the Panthers as he made sure the game stayed 0-0. The ice cats were awarded two power plays in this period and could not take advantage and score.
The Sabres came out shooting the puck in the second period of play and after a penalty by Frank Vatrano for holding, Buffalo was able to convert on the power play with a goal by Jack Eichel. Linus Ullmark was impressive in the second period of play. The 6’4″ Swedish international was able to spread his frame and make some remarkable saves to blank the Panthers during the first two periods.
The third period was a fun one if you’re a Panthers hockey fan. Huberdeau scored a “barkov-esque” goal in the third minute of the period. Huberdeau showed an incredible amount of control and technique as he tucked in the Panthers first goal of the night.
43 seconds later, Jayce Hawryluk gave the Panthers the lead with a powerful strike that hit the right side of the goal and bounced in the net. The play was reviewed because it seemed that a player had interfered with the puck but the goal stood.
Aleksander Barkov scored the Panthers third goal of the night in the fifth minute as he was able to poke the puck through Ullmark’s leg pads. Again, the swiftness and clarity that Barkov brings to this team gives us another reason to label him as an elite player.
The Sabres thought they had gotten back into the game when they scored a goal but was later overturned due to an offside call in the eighth minute.
Jonathan Huberdeau put the game out of reach when he scored his second goal of the night with a beautiful assist by the captain, Barkov.
The Sabres would later score a garbage time goal with eight seconds left in the game resulting in a final score of 4-2. The ice cats now have won the last 6 games against the Sabres at home.
The Panthers will face the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday at the BB&T Center with a puck drop at 7 p.m.