The Florida Panthers have two overtime victories this season, both at the expense of the New Jersey Devils.
On Thursday night, Vincent Trocheck’s second goal of the game came with 43 seconds left and lifted the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Devils at BB&T Center.
The Panthers beat the Devils 2-1 on opening night when Sasha Barkov scored in overtime.
“It was definitely exciting,” said Trocheck, who now leads the Panthers with six goals, surpassing Colton Sceviour’s five.
Never miss a local story.
“We need to get back on the winning track, and this was a good start.”
Two nights after the Panthers could do nothing right during seven power-play chances, they did little wrong when given the man advantage Thursday as Aaron Ekblad and Denis Malgin gave Florida a 2-0 lead on consecutive opportunities.
New Jersey’s power play did some damage as well. Travis Zajac cut Florida’s lead to 2-1 with 1:56 left in the second on the Devils’ third power-play chance.
The Panthers, who had lost six of eight coming in, made it 3-1 early in the third when Trocheck scored his fifth goal of the season.
New Jersey made it a one-goal affair again very quickly, however, with P.A. Parenteau scoring his second in as many games against the Panthers just 19 seconds later.
“I don’t know if it’s a positive we gave up a 3-1 lead,” Trocheck said. “I think it’s just a matter of having a lot of young guys still getting acclimated to the NHL.”
With 3:55 left, Pavel Zacha tied the score by beating James Reimer on a 30-foot blast.
“It was a great win for us, although I didn’t think we played a great game,” Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. “We found a way. Reimer was real good in the nets, and we got four goals. That’s a good thing.”
Malgin, Florida’s 19-year-old rookie piloting the third line, scored the second NHL goal of his career and did so in successive games as he cashed in 6:44 into the second. Ekblad’s goal was his second of the season.
“They had some good looks,” Gallant said. “Ekblad’s big shot was a huge goal. [The power play] was much better; they were moving the puck. That’s what we want to see.”
Reimer (2-1-1) won his second consecutive start and first in Sunrise since signing a five-year deal with Florida in July. He made 31 saves in the win, including a big one in overtime that allowed Trocheck to score the game-winner.
“That’s the game of hockey,” said Reimer, who beat the Red Wings in Detroit on Sunday. “Just look at the [World Series]; leads aren’t a sure thing. Teams are good, want to win. You play right to the end. We battled hard, and Trocheck got a big goal in OT.”