Pan­thers squan­der 2 leads in 3-2 set­back to Canucks

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS -

SUN­RISE — Bo Hor­vat came through with the win­ning goal on a mile­stone night.

Hor­vat, play­ing in his 300th NHL game, scored the tiebreak­ing goal in the third pe­riod, lead­ing the Van­cou­ver Canucks to a 3-2 vic­tory over the Florida Pan­thers on Satur­day night at the BB&T Cen­ter.

“I think that was the ic­ing on top,” Hor­vat said. “The win feels that much bet­ter.”

Hor­vat gave the Canucks their first lead when he took a nifty pass from Sven Baertschi in the left cir­cle and sent a one-timer in at 6:11 of the fi­nal pe­riod.

“He couldn’t have made a bet­ter pass on his back­hand to me, and all I had to do was tap it in from there,” Hor­vat said.

An­toine Rous­sel and Elias Pet­ters­son also scored for the Canucks, and An­ders Nils­son stopped 24 shots. Baertschi had two as­sists.

Pet­ter­son left the game af­ter be­ing pushed into the boards by Mike Mathe­son in the third pe­riod.

“That’s a dirty play. The league is try­ing to pro­tect the good young play­ers and that’s just a dirty play,” Van­cou­ver coach Travis Green said.

Cen­ter Jay Bea­gle also left with an in­jury af­ter block­ing a shot. No up­date was avail­able on ei­ther player.

“We had two cen­ter­men go down and we were stuck with two cen­ters out there the last five min­utes,” Hor­vat said. “To grind that one out and show the com­po­sure and the will to win there was great for our group.”

Vin­cent Trocheck and Jonathan Hu­berdeau scored for the Pan­thers, who re­main win­less through three games. James Reimer made 27 saves.

The Pan­thers had the lead twice but each time the Canucks were able to even the score within a cou­ple of min­utes.

“Every time we take the lead it’s tough when the other team ties it up right af­ter,” Florida coach Bob Bough­ner said. “That’s a pat­tern that’s got to change.”

The Pan­thers haven’t been able to build on their late surge of last sea­son, when they went 25-8-2 and missed the play­offs by a point.

“Once we get a lead, we’ve got to learn how to win,” Bough­ner said. “Ev­ery­thing we worked hard for in the sec­ond half of last sea­son, we’ve got to get some of that back.”

With the score tied 1-1, Trocheck put the Pan­thers ahead on a shot from the right cir­cle that got past Nils­son on the glove side with 2:40 left in the sec­ond.

Less than a minute later, Rous­sel was awarded a penalty shot af­ter he was hooked by Bog­dan Kise­le­vich. Rous­sel beat Reimer on the glove side at with 1:45 left to tie the score 2-2.

“It’s very dis­ap­point­ing,” Pan­thers de­fense­man Keith Yan­dle said. “We’ve got to get on the horse and get go­ing.”

Hu­berdeau gave Florida a 1-0 lead with 7:29 left in the sec­ond when he poked in his own re­bound.

Pet­ters­son tied the score 1-1 on a power-play goal with 5:12 left in the pe­riod as his wris­ter from the right cir­cle beat Reimer. Pet­ters­son tied the Canucks’ fran­chise record with a five-game point streak to start a ca­reer.

Notes: In a pregame cer­e­mony, the Pan­thers cel­e­brated goalie Roberto Luongo be­com­ing just the third goal­tender in NHL his­tory to play 1,000 games. Luongo reached the mile­stone last April 5. Luongo, who also played 448 games for the Canucks, is the NHL’s ac­tive wins leader (471) and stands fourth all-time in NHL wins. ... Kise­le­vich made his NHL de­but for the Pan­thers. ... Rous­sel was ac­ti­vated from in­jured re­serve and made his sea­son de­but for Van­cou­ver.

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