Carter Verhaeghe scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and Sam Reinhart had four points to lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon in Sunrise, Fla.
Reinhart had two goals and two assists as Florida won its fourth straight game and improved to 6-1-0 at home. Reinhart leads the Panthers in goals (11) and points (21).
Blackhawks star rookie Connor Bedard scored twice, one unassisted. Bedard, an 18-year-old phenom and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, has nine goals this season.
Chicago, which tied the score three times but never led, also got a goal from Jason Dickinson and 28 saves from Arvid Soderblom.
Florida received 23 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky. Also for the Panthers, Oliver Ekman-Larsson had one goal and an assist, and Matthew Tkachuk and Evan Rodrigues added two assists apiece.
The Panthers also got good news with the return of forward Sam Bennett, who played his first game since Oct. 30. He had been out due to a lower-body injury.
Florida outshot Chicago 14-8 in the first, but the period ended with the teams tied 2-2.
The Panthers opened the scoring just 39 seconds in as Rodrigues’ shot was saved by Soderblom. Reinhart grabbed the rebound and slipped a centering pass to Ekman-Larsson for the goal.
Chicago tied the score 1-1 on Dickinson’s rebound goal. Lukas Reichel got the primary assist.
Florida took a 2-1 lead on its power play as Reinhart scored on a deflection. Tkachuk’s shot from the point earned him the primary assist.
With just 56 seconds left in the period, Bedard scored to tie the game again. Bedard stole the puck from Kevin Stenlund deep in Florida’s end and scored to the short side over Bobrovsky’s glove.
In the second period, Florida had an 11-6 shots advantage, but the teams were still tied, this time at 3-3.
Florida took a 3-2 lead as Reinhart — from a bad angle along the goal line — purposely banked the puck in off the back of Soderblom.
Chicago tied the score 3-3 just 78 seconds later on another Bedard goal. This time, Bedard scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated in alone, beating Bobrovsky to the far side. Seth Jones was credited with an assist.
Florida took a 4-3 lead with 17:16 left in the third on Verhaeghe’s power-play rebound goal. Reinhart and Tkachuk earned assists.
In the final seconds, Bobrovsky made a save on Bedard to end the game. Bedard finished with four shots on goal.
–Field Level Media