Down four goals after two periods, Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville on Tuesday switched goalies and the Panthers responded with the biggest comeback in club history.
Mike Hoffman scored one of four Panther goals in the third period and added the winner in a shootout as the Panthers rallied from a four-goal deficit and beat the Boston Bruins 5-4.
“Obviously, you don’t want to be down 4-0 at any point in the game — especially with only one period left,” Hoffman said. “But the guys in here stuck together, dug deep and just tried to chip away.”
Photo: Greg M Cooper-USA TODAY
The Panthers continued chipping away and won a game they trailed by four goals for the first time since they joined the NHL as an expansion club in the 1993-1994 season.
Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists for the Panthers, and Sam Montembeault did not allow a goal after replacing Sergei Bobrovsky at the start of the third period.
Montembeault finished with 15 saves, six in overtime, and stopped Charlie McAvoy on the Bruins’ last chance in the shootout, as the Panthers completed the comeback and gave Quenneville career victory No. 899.
“It’s huge. We never gave up. We talked to each other after the second,” Montembeault said.
Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Panthers, while Jonathan Huberdeau added three assists, tying him with Stephen Weiss for the most assists in club history with 249.
The Panthers won their second straight game in a shootout and picked up four points on a three-game road trip against the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.
“We found a way to come up with big wins and today was the biggest of them all,” Quenneville said.
David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 16th goal for the Bruins, who broke a scoreless tie with four goals in the second period, but could not hold off the Panthers.
The Panthers got two power-play goals in the third period and scored twice at even-strength before prevailing in the shootout.
“Things got compounded,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It seemed like we took a lot of marginal penalties tonight and we didn’t kill them.”
Joakim Nordstrom, Anders Bjork and Zdeno Chara also scored for the Bruins, while goalie Tuukka Rask made 25 saves.
David Krejci had two assists for the Bruins, who lost their fourth straight.
“We had some looks,” Rask said. “Definitely if it’s 4-0 going into the third period, you expect to win.”
Pastrnak put the Bruins up 1-0 at 11:55 of the second period on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Nordstrom beat Bobrovsky 2:07 later on a wrist shot from the right circle to make it 2-0 for the Bruins.
The Bruins added goals by Bjork and Chara, taking a 4-0 lead into the third period. The Panthers regrouped after Quenneville pulled Bobrovsky for Montembeault.
Ekblad scored 50 seconds into the third period, Vatrano cut the margin to 4-2 on a power-play goal 5:26 into the period — and the Panthers were not done.
Hoffman scored on a backhand 9:43 into the third period and Yandle, who assisted on two of the Panthers’ first three goals, completed the comeback when he scored with 1:39 left in regulation, after a rebound drifted to him high in the slot.
Also on Tuesday, it was:
‧ Avalanche 4, Jets 0
‧ Canadiens 3, Blue Jackets 2
‧ Rangers 3, Penguins 2
‧ Coyotes 3, Blues 2
‧ Canucks 5, Predators 3
‧ Red Wings 4, Ducks 3
‧ Sharks 6, Oilers 3
‧ Kings 3, Wild 1
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