Florida Panthers winning streak ends
The Panthers returned home from a historic road trip in which they not only won all five games for the first time but trailed for less than two minutes of the entire deal.
Things went a bit different on Wednesday night.
The Edmonton Oilers took the lead on Florida four times at BB&T Center and high-tailed it out of South Florida with a 4-3 victory — snapping Florida’s season-high, five-game winning streak in the process.
Florida, which came into the night winning eight of its previous nine, has now dropped its past two home games.
The Panthers continue their southern version of the “Battle of Alberta” on Friday when the Calgary Flames visit Sunrise.
Edmonton took a 1-0 lead on the Panthers in the first on Oscar Klefbom’s goal 5:18 in.
The Panthers stared down that goal deficit until early in the second when Sasha Barkov hammered a shot from his knees on a power-play chance just 21 seconds in.
Florida and Edmonton traded goals throughout the second as the Oilers took the lead at 2-1 (Eric Gryba) and 3-2 (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins).
Only the Panthers continued to fight back.
Florida tied the score at 2 when Colton Sceviour slid into the slot and buried a pass from Jussi Jokinen with 4:07 left in the second.
Down 3-2, the Panthers got a late power-play chance and tied the score going into the third as Jonathan Marchessault continued to score as he walked in on Cam Talbot and scored with 3.9 seconds left in the period.
Edmonton took its fourth lead on the Panthers with 7:58 left when Kris Russell wristed a shot from Leon Draisaitl and beat James Reimer to make it 4-3.
Reimer got the Florida start for the second consecutive game and had to be sharp as the Oilers — who lost in Tampa Bay the night before — came out firing.
The Oilers took 13 shots in the opening period and 17 in the second.
Reimer took the loss in Florida’s 4-3 overtime decision last month in the Panthers’ first visit to Edmonton’s new downtown arena.
▪ The Panthers briefly lost leading scorer Vincent Trocheck as he left the game in the second period after injuring his shoulder on an attempted hit on Jordan Eberle.
Trocheck went off to get treatment and was loudly cheered when shown on the bench to start the third period. Trocheck came into the night leading the Panthers with 21 goals and 42 points.