Vincent Trocheck delivers the round-three knockout

Jonathan Huberdeau scored two power-play goals, Roberto Luogno made 40 saves, and Vincent Trocheck struck the decisive blow to give the Florida Panthers a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Dallas Stars.

After taking a pass from Evgenii Dadonov, Trocheck used his speed to create space in the Dallas zone before feeding a wide-open Huberdeau for the game’s first goal at the 5:13 mark.

Huberdeau notched his second of the night 10:10 later, getting inside position on defenseman Esa Lindell and presenting his blade to re-direct Aleksander Barkov’s hard pass past Kari Lehtonen. Keith Yandle drew the secondary assist on the goal.

Yandle had a hand in the Stars first goal when he lost a puck battle with Mattias Janmark at the Dallas blue line and the Stars went the other way on a 2-on-1 break. Alexander Radulov’s pretty pass allowed Jamie Benn to easily beat Roberto Luongo to halve the deficit at 17:50.

Benn and Radulov teamed up for another goal 10:56 into the middle frame. After stopping Lindell’s dump-in behind the net, Luongo gagged the puck up to Radulov, who quickly found Benn for the empty-net put away.

Dallas kept up the physical play and took the lead 67 seconds later when rookie Remi Elie chipped a backhander off MacKenzie Weegar’s stick and up and over a lost Luogno’s glove after a Martin Hanzal face-off win. Jason Spezza picked up the primary assist for finding Elie down low.

Barkov tied things up 2:55 into the final frame when he tipped Mike Matheson’s blocked shot past Lehtonen while standing off to the left of the net. Yandle picked up the second assist on Barkov’s sixth of the season.

The Stars out-shot the Panthers 4-0 in overtime, but failed to come up with a winner, so the game went to a shootout.

Tyler Seguin scored to open the first round, while Barkov countered in the bottom of the second with a gorgeous backhander.

Luongo denied Radulov in the top of third before Trocheck ripped one five-hole to end it.

After a tough 2-1 defeat in New Jersey, the Panthers overcame a horrible second period to claw-out a much-needed win against the Stars, avoiding yet another losing streak. Hopefully, the Cats can use this comeback victory as a springboard with three tough California road games, starting Thursday night in San Jose, up next.

Full Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)

Giants & Dwarfs

  • Roberto Luongo made 16 of his 40 saves in the second period when the Panthers were out-shot by an 18-4 margin and robbed Alexander Radulov in overtime. Luongo evened his record at 3-3-1.
  • Speaking of Radulov he extended his point streak to nine games (5G/8A) with his first period helper.
  • The Panthers went 2 for 5 last night on the power play after going 1 for 15 in the previous six games.
  • Jamie Benn’s two goals matched Jonathan Huberdeau’s brace and gave the veteran winger ten on the season. Benn led all skaters with 7 shots on goal.
  • Florida call-up Curtis Valk made his NHL debut and registered one hit in 3:25 TOI.
  • Kari Lehtonen finished with 26 stops, including 15 in a busy third period.
  • Defending Big D has the other side of Florida’s second win in the last eight games.

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