Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers secure valued point with 3-2 shootout loss to Blackhawks

Scott Darling #33 of the Chicago Blackhawks dives to make a save against Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers at the United Center on February 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Darling #33 of the Chicago Blackhawks dives to make a save against Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers at the United Center on February 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images

The Panthers rallied to force overtime against the Blackhawks but were stymied in a shootout as Chicago claimed a 3-2 victory on Tuesday at the United Center.

The Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each had shootout goals, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck and Nick Bjugstad missed on their respective tries.

The Panthers scored a pair of third-period goals to erase a 2-0 Blackhawks lead and force a 2-2 tie.

Florida broke a shutout when left-winger Jusi Jokinen flicked the puck past Chicago goalie Scott Darling at 12:23 of the third period for his sixth goal of the season.

The Panthers tied the score at 16:31 center Vincent Trochek collected his fifth goal when his shot slipped over the goal line before Darling got a glove on it.

Florida, which sought to avoid a three-game losing streak, was outshot 37-32 in regulation as it concluded a five-game trip.

Tuesday’s game seemed an ideal time for Panthers right-winger Jimmy Hayes to inflict some damage on his former teammates.

Hayes played 43 games for Chicago between 2011 and 2014 and is among six ex-Blackhawks on the Panthers roster. He had 17 goals in 51 games — second on the Panthers behind center Nick Bjugstad, but he had none on Tuesday.

The Panthers, who are in the hunt for an Eastern Conference playoff spot and trail the Bruins by two points in the wild-card race, played a Blackhawks team in a funk.

Chicago came into Tuesday with back-to-back home losses.

The Blackhawks peppered Panthers goalkeeper Roberto Luongo with 15 first-period shots, including Toews’ power-play goal at 9:25. Toews took a feed from winger Marian Hossa and lined a successful shot while positioned to Luongo’s left for his 18th goal of the season.

Chicago played much of the game without leading scorer Patrick Kane, who slammed into the boards in at 7:49 of the first period after a cross-check by Panthers defender David Petrovic. Kane appeared to hit his left shoulder and did not return.

The Panthers had a chance to tie it at 7:10 of the second period with a penalty shot awarded after Blackhawks left winger Bryan Bickell knocked a loose stick into play.

But center Derek MacKenzie, who converted a penalty shot earlier this season, saw this try go wide of Darling.

An interference call on Hossa at 11:58 led to the Panthers’ first but ultimately unsuccessful power play.

Seconds after Hossa left the box the Blackhawks made it 2-0 on ex-Panther Kris Versteeg’s successful rebound off Sharp’s initial try. Sharp’s assist was the 500th of his career.

After being outshot through two periods, the Panthers turned the tables in the third period with a 16-10 edge.

Darling made his eighth start of the season and first start since being called up on Sunday from the Blackhawks’ affiliate in Rockford, Illinois.

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