Huberdeau lifts Panthers over Ducks in OT for 8th straight
SUNRISE, Fla- (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau scored at 3:41 of overtime to lift the Florida Panthers over the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory.
Anthony Duclair scored twice for the Eastern Conference leaders, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves.
Derek Grant and Troy Terry scored for the Ducks. John Gibson stopped 52 shots in an incredible effort that went for naught.
Huberdeau flipped the puck into the corner of the net from in front to give the Panthers their only lead.
“We ran into a hot goalie; he was playing well. Overall, it was a pretty good game,” Huberdeau said. “We put up 55 shots, at some point it’s going to go in.”
Gibson stopped Huberdeau’s initial shot from in front, but the All-Star forward was able to flip in the rebound.
“I did my best. One lucky bounce, then they make a nice play,” Gibson said. “They’re a good team. When you give them a chance they’re going to bury them, and they did there.”
Duclair’s second goal came on the power play and tied the game at 2 with 9:51 left in the third period. Sam Reinhart passed across the crease to Duclair and he poked in the puck on Gibson’s glove side.
Duclair reached 30 goals for the first time.
“Awesome feeling,” he said. “It’s something I’m not going to take for granted. I’m just really excited about it.”
Gibson stopped shots from every angle as the Panthers kept the pressure on.
“I challenge anybody to show me a goaltending performance like that,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “He’s put up some unbelievable performances and we haven’t been able to finish off for him. We’ve got to find a way to do it.”
Grant put the Ducks ahead 2-1 when a shot from Jamie Drysdale was redirected into the net with 2:36 left in the second.
Duclair’s first goal, a shot from behind the net that bounced off the skate of defenseman Jamie Drysdale and under Gibson’s pad, tied the score 1-all 1:44 into the second.
Terry gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead on their first shot. A pass from Grant was deflected to Terry in front and he pushed in the puck at 7:38.
“We pushed a good hockey team there, had our chances and a lead in the game and he gave us a great chance,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said about Gibson. “It’s disheartening not to pull that out for him.”
Mindful that it would be difficult to reschedule a Winnipeg-Florida game this late in the season, the NHL postponed Wednesday’s Jets-Seattle game in Winnipeg. The league said the threat of “extreme weather conditions” in Winnipeg caused the postponement, especially since the weather could affect the Jets’ ability to fly to Florida for a game there Friday. The Jets-Kraken game will now be played May 1.
NOTES: Florida has given up the first goal in 33 of its 73 games. … Terry has goals in back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 27 and 29. … The Panthers reached the 300-goal mark for the first time in franchise history. … The Panthers remain on course to lead the NHL in shots on goal for the second straight season. It would be three times in five years, but Florida finished 2017-18 with 2,822 shots, which was one fewer than Pittsburgh had that season.
Ducks: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Panthers: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.
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