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Rapid Recap: Panthers 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)

Florida has two-goal comeback

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Florida Panthers rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday night at Pepsi Center.

Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau scored the tying goal with 1:30 left in the third period and then tallied the game-winner 29 seconds into the extra frame to drop the Avs' record to 8-2-2 on the season.

Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon finished with a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening point streak to 12 games, the fourth longest stretch to begin a campaign in franchise history.

Joonas Donskoi and Matt Nieto also scored for the Avalanche, while Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Ian Cole, Samuel Girard and Nazem Kadri registered assists.

Colton Sceviour and Aleksander Barkov tallied the other goals for the Panthers, with both markers coming off deflections.

Both clubs wrap up the season series with 1-0-1 records, as the Avalanche won 5-4 in OT on Oct. 18 in Florida.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Notes & Quotes | Highlights | Watch: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period
6:05 COL (1-0) - Matt Nieto scored on a rebound during a scramble in front of the net.
9:59 FLA (1-1) - Colton Sceviour redirected Aaron Ekblad's outside shot into the back of the net to tie the game.
19:28 COL (2-1) - Joonas Donskoi swatted in the rebound from Nathan MacKinnon's shot for his fifth goal of the season. MacKinnon's assist extended his season-opening point streak to 12 games.

2nd Period
No Scoring

3rd Period
7:37 COL (3-1) - Nathan MacKinnon's shot from the blue line went off Florida's Anton Stralman and trickled past goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
12:04 FLA (3-2) - PPG, Aleksander Barkov deflected Keith Yandle's shot and the puck beat goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
18:30 FLA (3-3) - Jonathan Huberdeau tied the game with a wrist shot while Florida had its goaltender pulled for the extra attacker.

Overtime
0:29 FLA (3-4) - Jonathan Huberdeau had space in the low slot and scored on a backhand shot.

Final: Panthers - 4 | Avalanche - 3 (Overtime)

3 STARS

  1. Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA): Scored the game-tying and game-winning goals
  2. Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Recorded two points (goal and assist)
  3. Philipp Grubauer (COL): Stopped 34 shots

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Chris McGarvey (Littleton Hockey Association)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 0 for 2
Florida: 1 for 4

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer made 34 saves in his ninth start of the season
Florida: Sergei Bobrovsky denied 27 of the 30 pucks he faced

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist to extend his season-opening point streak to 12 games, the longest active streak in the NHL this season. His run is already the longest to begin a year in Avalanche history (since 1995-96) and is tied with Joe Sakic (1988-89, Quebec Nordiques) for the fourth longest in franchise history to begin a campaign.

MacKinnon is the fifth player since 1999-00 to start aseason with a point streak of 12 games or longer. Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes) was the last player to do so, having a 12-game run in 2018-19.

NOTEBOOK

Joonas Donskoi has scored in back-to-back games… Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was the Avalanche's third alternate captain in the game… The Avalanche and Panthers were meeting for the second and final time this season; both clubs finished with 1-0-1 records… Colorado has points in six straight games in the series (4-0-2)… The Avs are now 4-0-2 against Eastern Conference teams this season.

QUOTABLE

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on the loss: "First period wasn't our period and then we found a way to get back a little bit of our swag. Then in the third, I think we are spending a little too much on our heels letting them come with speed, so it's a good lesson what not to do when you have the lead."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: FLA@COL: Grubauer somehow keeps the puck out

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Cale Makar turned 21 years old on Wednesday and received some birthday wishes pregame.

ROSTER REPORT

The Avs mixed up their line combinations, with the trio of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Matt Calvert and Matt Nieto being the only line that didn't have any changes to it (full starting lineup below)… Vladislav Kamenev and Jayson Megna played their first games of the season, with Megna also making his Avalanche debut… Mark Barberio played his fourth game of the season after being scratched for the past five games… Ryan Graves was the team's lone healthy scratch.

INJURY UPDATE

Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) is out indefinitely… Mikko Rantanen is week-to-week with a lower-body injury… Colin Wilson wasn't available for the game after suffering a "tweak" to his lower body at Tuesday's practice.

UP NEXT

Colorado wraps up the three-game homestand on Friday against the Dallas Stars. It is a Division Rivalry game and the Avs will wear their navy third jerseys for the second time this season. The contest is also the first half of a back-to-back set, with the Avalanche playing at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game
Forwards
91 Nazem Kadri - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 72 Joonas Donskoi
95 Andre Burakovsky - 17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 81 Vladislav Kamenev - 12 Jayson Megna

Defensemen
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
28 Ian Cole - 8 Cale Makar
16 Nikita Zadorov - 44 Mark Barberio

Goaltenders
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

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