Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night, spoiling former coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida.
Ekblad grabbed a rebound in the high slot and fired it past Malcolm Subban to give Florida its second win in six games this month.
Aleksander Barkov scored his league-leading fifth short-handed goal of the season and had two assists, and Evgenii Dadonov and Jamie McGinn also scored for the Panthers. James Reimer stopped 33 shots.
William Karlsson had a goal and an assist, and David Perron and James Neal also scored for Vegas. Subban finished with 22 saves.
Dadonov broke a 2-2 tie when he poked in a rebound at 3:35 of the third. Barkov’s shot from the high slot bounced off Subban’s glove out to Dadonov to the right of the crease and Dadonov pushed the puck into the net. Dadonov has three goals in the past two games.
Neal tied it with 2:09 left in the third when he roofed a shot past Reimer from in front.
With the score tied 1-all in the first, Barkov put the Panthers ahead on his short-handed goal. Vincent Trocheck’s shot was blocked as he rushed the net but Barkov was able to poke in the rebound from the corner of the net with 4:05 left in the first. The Panthers lead the NHL with nine short-handed goals.
The Golden Knight tied the score 2-2 on Karlsson’s goal at 6:57 of the second. Shea Theodore made a nice feed across to Karlsson, who swept the puck past Reimer. Karlsson leads Vegas with 25 goals.
McGinn gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on his goal 3:15 in. Subban tried to clear the puck from in front but McGinn corralled the loose puck and put it into the net.
Perron tied the score with 5:38 left in the first as he took a cross-ice pass from Erik Haula, tipped by Brad Hunt, and fired the puck past Reimer.