Florida Panthers Cap Off Homestand With Shootout Win

Panthers Homestand Shootout Win

Photo Credit: Florida Panthers

Sunrise, FL – The Florida Panthers capped off an undefeated three-game homestand with a 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens in a shootout. Sam Reinhart scored twice. Once on a power play, and the other one shorthanded to tie the game at 3-3 with 6:55 left in regulation. Anton Lundell clinched the victory with a nifty shootout goal.

Lundell sends us home

Anton Lundell has had an up-and-down season from the offensive end of the ice. On Thursday night, he got to be the hero.

In the third and final round of the shootout, the Finnish center went backhand, then forehand, taking Montreal goaltender Sam Montembault out of position and firing the game-winning shot into the back of the net.

“Everybody wants to be like (Aleksander Barkov), scoring every shootout,” Lundell said. “You see a movie, go to the outdoor rinks, try it, then maybe during the game. That’s how you create the moves. But it’s always been something fun for me to be able to come up with new stuff.”

Reinhart gets 40

Panthers forward Sam Reinhart scored his 40th goal of the season Thursday night. It was a carbon copy of almost every other goal he’s scored this year: on the powerplay, forward Matthew Tkachuk fed him a pass in the bumper and he one-timed it into the back of the net. The goal gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with 5:52 left in the second period.

For good measure, the right winger scored again – shorthanded, this time – to tie the game 3-3 with 6:55 left in the third period. He roofed it from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.

Reinhart is now the fourth skater in Panthers history to score at least 40 goals in a season. He joins Pavel Bure (58, 1999-00 and 59, 2000-01, Carter Verhaeghe (42, 2022-23), and Tkachuk (40, 2022-23).

Prior to Thursday, Reinhart went eight games without scoring.

“I thought in that gap, there were chances that didn’t quite go,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said. “Earlier, maybe last year, you’d start worrying about it. (Now) I wasn’t even remotely worried about it. And then he looked like he was right back on. It’s a huge milestone and incredibly difficult. And there’s just very few men in the history of the game to get to the 40-goal mark.”

Stolarz is no back-up

The Panthers have the luxury of two goaltenders that they can trust in any given game. First-string goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is having his best regular season during his Florida tenure, allowing 2.35 goals per game with a .916 save percentage.

Thursday’s starter in Anthony Stolarz has put up even better raw numbers. In 19 games, he is allowed 2.02 goals per game with a .924 save percentage.

Stolarz was sharp again on Thursday. He allowed three goals. One was a power play where Canadiens center Alex Newhook was left open at the faceoff dot for a one-timer, while the other one was a defensive breakdown in which Nick Suzuki received a stretch pass and got out on a breakaway to beat Stolarz.

The 30-year-old made 28 saves, including seven high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. He also made several great saves during overtime, and a stretch glove save against Nick Suzuki in the shootout.

Next up, the Cats travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings, on Saturday, 3 PM.

(Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)