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Recap: Four-Goal Lead Vanishes in 5-4 OT Loss to Panthers

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

On this night, no lead - no matter how great - was safe. Despite holding a four-goal lead with 21 minutes left in the game, the Ducks fell 5-4 in overtime against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday night. Four straight goals from Max Jones, Nick Ritchie, Rickard Rakell and Ondrej Kase had the Ducks fully in control as the second period was ending. Then, cracks started to form.

Two goals in 27 seconds from Florida's Brett Connolly in the final minute of the second period gave the Panthers life. Then, at the 11:55 mark of the third - a period controlled by the Panthers - Aaron Ekblad cut the deficit to one. Unable to recover, the Ducks scrambled. Dominic Toninato tied the game with under five minutes left in regulation and all of a sudden, it was a brand new game. Hard to imagine just moments earlier.

When the game entered overtime, Ekblad delivered. Again. It took 22 seconds in sudden death to complete the dramatic comeback, improving Florida's record to 12-5-5 overall. The Ducks fell to 10-10-3 and will look to salvage this four-game road trip on Saturday in Tampa.

The Ducks were in the driver's seat for more than half of this game. Jones started it off at the 17:15 mark of the first period when he buried a loose puck at the doorstep for his third goal of the season. It came off a point shot from Jacob Larsson that Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky couldn't handle cleanly.

Video: ANA@FLA: Jones cleans up in front of the net

They doubled the lead at the 7:17 mark of the second period when Ritchie fired a shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Bobrovsky over his left shoulder. It marked career point No. 99 for the 23-year-old left wing (38g/61a).

Video: ANA@FLA: Ritchie fires home one-time shot in 2nd

Rakell gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead on the power play at the 15:50 mark of the middle frame when he sent a wrist shot top corner from the half wall with Jakob Silfverberg setting the screen in front. With the power-play goal, Rakell tied Chris Kunitz (26) for ninth on the club's all-time PPG list.

Video: ANA@FLA: Rakell scores PPG snipe in 2nd period

Before the second period ended, the Ducks made it 4-0 when Kase pounced on a failed clearing attempt and finished his own rebound for his second goal of the season and his second point of the game.

Video: ANA@FLA: Kase scores off forecheck in 2nd period

John Gibson finished the game with 23 saves on 27 shots.

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