The Florida Panthers beat the New York Rangers, 4-3, in a shootout on Saturday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. Vincent Trocheck scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout to go with two assists, and Frank Vatrano scored a goal in his Panthers debut.
The Panthers are now 34-25-7 with 75 points, on pace for 93 points this season. They are two points behind Columbus with three games in hand for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. They are three points behind New Jersey with three games in hand for the first wild-card spot in the East.
They are 12 points behind Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Here’s another look at Saturday night’s game:>Panthers beat Rangers, set franchise record with eighth straight home win
5. Number of teams, including the Panthers, with at least three players with 60 or more points this season. Jonathan Huberdeau’s two points on Saturday night pushed him over the 60-point edge for the season, joining Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck with more than 60 points this season. The Islanders, Flyers, Penguins and Golden Knights also have at least three players with more than 60 points. Three of those teams are virtual locks to make the playoffs.>
Only once before in franchise history have the Panthers had three players with 60 points in the same season. Pavel Bure, Viktor Kozlov and Ray Whitney all did so in 1999-2000, when Bure scored a then-franchise-record 58 goals.
The Panthers have never had four players with 60-plus points. Evgenii Dadonov has 51 points with 16 games remaining.
21. Number of different line combinations Vincent Trocheck has started a game on this season. Trocheck centered Jonathan Huberdeau and Frank Vatrano on Saturday night, continuing a virtually season-long rotation of linemates for the 24-year-old center. But the carousel could be stopping soon.
Vatrano had a great Panthers debut on the second line, scoring a goal and notching five shots on goal. Denis Malgin should return from a knee injury next week, potentially going back into his spot on Trocheck’s right wing. Both players fit Trocheck’s style of play — offensive skill players with speed — more so than players like Radim Vrbata, Jamie McGinn and Connor Brickley.
0. Number of fourth-line minutes after the Rangers tied the game at 3 with 12:35 remaining in the third period. Micheal Haley, Derek MacKenzie and Colton Sceviour were all on the ice for Kevin Hayes’ game-tying goal at 7:25 of the third period, and none of the three saw the ice the rest of the game, including the five-minute overtime period.
Instead, Panthers coach Bob Boughner shortened his bench and deployed his top three lines. For Sceviouor, his 8:00 of ice time was the fewest since he suffered an upper-body injury in Washington on Oct. 21 and played just 3:40. Similarly, MacKenzie’s 6:45 of ice time was the fewest since he suffered a lower-body in New Jersey on Nov. 11 and played 1:54.
Under the radar quotes of the game
“We got some good shootout guys on our club. Obviously, Barky scores pretty much every time he goes,” Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo said.
“Shootout is kind of a free for all. Anything can happen. I think we know that Barky’s obviously going to score every time,” Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck said.
Aleksander Barkov continues to cement his status as the league’s best shootout specialist, scoring again on Saturday night by beating Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a forehand shot in the second round. The goal was Barkov’s fourth in six tries this season.
Across the last three seasons, Barkov has been dominant in shootouts, scoring on 16 of 22 attempts. His 72.7 percent success rate is the best in the NHL for players with more than eight shootout attempts.
The Panthers improved to 3-0-3 in shootouts this season.
Pass of the game>
Vincent Trocheck picked up his second assist of the night by flicking a no-look, between the legs, backhand pass to Frank Vatrano at the crease. The assist gave Trocheck 36 on the season, extending his career-high.
Move of the game>
Mats Zuccarello unveiled a gorgeous move in the shootout, faking out Roberto Luongo with a deke to his backhand before finishing on his forehand. It was the first shot of the shootout and would be the only goal the Rangers would score in it.
Shot heat map (via Natural Stat Trick)
Source : http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/florida-panthers/panthers-blog/fl-sp-panthers-rangers-next-day-20180311-story.html