This was a reversal of roles for the Florida Panthers — and a welcome relief for the home team.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored the tying goal with 1:29 left in the third period, and Mike Hoffman scored with 3:32 left in overtime to lead the host Panthers to a 4-3 win against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.
The dramatics came two nights after the Panthers blew a game by allowing the Chicago Blackhawks to score the tying goal with just 1.8 seconds left in regulation. Chicago then scored in overtime to ruin the start of Florida’s eight-game homestand.
Monday’s result was much more satisfying for the Panthers, thanks in large part to Huberdeau, who also had two assists on the night, including the game-winner. His goal was his fifth of the season and score No. 100 in his career.
Hoffman’s goal was his team-high 12th of the season.
Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov had one goal and one assist. Teammate Evgeni Dadonov had two assists.
Florida also got a goal third-line center Jared McCann.
For Barkov, it was his eighth goal of the season and his first since November 19. McCann has just four goals this season, but he has scored in two straight games, and he has three goals in his past five contests.
New Jersey got goals from Miles Wood, Blake Coleman and Jesper Bratt.
James Reimer made 29 saves for the Panthers, earning just his fourth win this season.
Keith Kincaid made 30 saves for the Devils.
New Jersey opened the scoring with 1:23 expired in the second period as Wood‘s deflection of a shot by Sami Vatanen got past Reimer.
After New Jersey was whistled for too many men on the ice, Coleman stole the puck in the neutral zone and raced in alone for a shorthanded, breakaway goal, giving New Jersey a 2-0 lead with 6:01 expired in the second. Coleman scored top shelf.
But another Devils penalty — this one on Travis Zajac for slashing — gave the Panthers a 5-on-3 power play for 46 seconds. Florida cashed in 42 seconds later when Barkov, operating in the low slot, took a pass from Evgenii Dadonov and rifled a shot that went in off Kincaid’s glove.
Florida tied the score with 11:43 elapsed in the second. Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar gloved the puck in the neutral zone, carried in and dished to McCann in the slot. McCann deked Kincaid before slinging a shot past the goalie’s stick, top shelf.
With 8:33 left in the third period, Bratt tipped in shot from Vatanen, who had two primary assists in the game. It was Bratt’s second goal of the season and his second in two games.
That seemed to doom the Panthers … until Huberdeau came to the rescue.
THIS AND THAT
▪ With second-line center Vincent Trocheck out, the Panthers moved Frank Vatrano up to second-line right winger. It was a worthy promotion for Vatrano, who is fourth on the team with seven goals.
Panthers coach Bob Boughner also moved Nick Bjugstad from winger to second-line center, replacing Trocheck. Jonathan Huberdeau completed the line.
▪ The other forward lines included: Aleksander Barkov centering Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov on the top line; red-hot Jared McCann centering Dryden Hunt and Troy Brouwer on the third line; and Juho Lammikko centering Colton Sceviour and Micheal Haley on the fourth line.
▪ The defensive pairings included Mike Matheson and Aaron Ekblad, followed by Keith Yandle and Mark Pysyk and MacKenzie Weegar with Bogdan Kiselevich.