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Panthers find ways to rally again, top Blues 4-3 in shootout

·3 min read

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell scored in the shootout, and the Florida Panthers continued their string of comebacks by rallying from three one-goal deficits to beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Saturday.

Maxim Mamin scored two goals and Reinhart added a goal for Florida. Lucas Carlsson and Anton Lundell each had two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves for the Panthers — plus stopped Ryan O'Reilly to end the shootout.

Ville Husso made a career-best 48 saves for the Blues, who got goals from Brandon Saad, Logan Brown and Jake Walman. O'Reilly had two assists for St. Louis.

The Blues played the final 1:57 of overtime on the penalty kill, and most of that with defenseman Robert Bortuzzo playing without a stick. All he had was arms and legs to get in passing lanes, and even with Florida playing 4-on-3 — and four sticks vs. two — the Blues found a way to go to a shootout.

But Bobrovsky came up with the save at the end to seal the win, and Florida improved to 14-1-0 at home.

Husso was playing in back-to-back games for the first time this season since St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Florida pulled Bobrovsky with 2:36 left, down by one.

Bobrovsky was back with 2:34 left, with the game tied.

It was that easy and that quick: Lundell won a faceoff, tapping the puck back to Mamin, who ripped a one-timer past Husso to tie the game at 3-3.

And with that, the legend of the Comeback ‘Cats continued.

After getting down 4-1 to Washington on Tuesday and 3-0 to Buffalo on Thursday — then finding ways to win both games — the Panthers found themselves in familiar territory when St. Louis opened the scoring on Brown’s second goal of the season at 5:24 of the opening period.

Such was the way the first two periods went: St. Louis would score, Florida would answer. Mamin tied it at 1-1 for the Panthers exactly 100 seconds after Brown’s goal. Walman put the Blues back on top 6:36 into the second, and Reinhart tapped in a rebound at 18:00 of that period to knot things up again.

Saad made it 3-2 St. Louis at 4:29 of the third, redirecting a pass from O’Reilly just under Bobrovsky’s right leg. And just as they did when facing 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, the Panthers tied the game yet again.

BEEN A MINUTE

St. Louis’ game at Florida during the 2019-20 season was canceled because of the pandemic, and the way the schedule was set up last season meant teams were only playing teams within their division. That meant Saturday’s game was the Blues’ first at Sunrise since Feb. 5, 2019. Of the 38 players who took part in that 2019 game, only 11 — seven Blues and four Panthers — were on the ice Saturday.

NOTES: Husso’s previous career best for saves was 34. ... This is the only home-and-home series for Florida this season. It’s the second of five for St. Louis. ... Florida had given up exactly four goals in each of its last four games, tying the longest such streak in the NHL this season. ... Reinhart has goals in three consecutive games. It’s the first time he’s had a three-game streak as a Panther; he had three of at least three games with Buffalo. ... The Panthers aren’t home again until Dec. 14. ... St. Louis plays its next four games at home.

UP NEXT

The teams play again in St. Louis on Tuesday.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

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