SUNRISE - Despite twice losing a lead in the third period, the Carolina Hurricanes came away with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers.
Martin Necas netted the deciding goal in the fifth round of the shootout, the team's 10th straight win in the skills competition.
HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTO GALLERY | STATISTICS
The Panthers have made a habit of becoming the "Comeback Cats." On Thursday night, they rallied with three goals in 3:11 to top the Dallas Stars, 3-2. Just 10 days ago in Raleigh, the Panthers scored three straight goals to nullify the Canes' 2-0 advantage, a game Florida went on to win 4-3 in overtime.
In the third period, it seemed like the Panthers were going to add another rally victory to their collection, as they flipped momentum and evened the score not just once but twice, the second tying goal coming with six attackers on and just 1:54 left in regulation.
Either sequence could have spelled disaster for the Canes, but they brushed the setbacks off and kept plugging until they got two points, a big win to snap a three-game skid.
"We didn't get down," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I like how we bounced back from the negative things that go on in the game."
During a break late in the first period, a video tribute played to welcome back Trocheck, who was drafted by the Panthers in 2011 and played 420 games for the franchise from 2013-20. The video featured messages from his former teammates, and Trocheck received a warm reception from the crowd afterward, as he smiled and waved in acknowledgement.
Just 56 seconds later, Trocheck scored against his former team. Trocheck redirected a point shot from Dougie Hamilton to notch his team-leading 10th goal of the season, a power-play marker that put the Canes up 1-0 before the intermission.
Video: CAR@FLA: Trocheck deflects Hamilton's shot for PPG
Yeah, that one felt good.
"It was a good feeling, obviously," he said. "Played here for a long time, and a lot of good memories here. To come back and play against them and get the win is special."
With the way Bean has been playing - he had five assists in as many games in a recent stretch - it was only a matter of time before the smooth-skating defenseman netted his career first goal in the National Hockey League.
His first was the Canes' second on the man advantage, as he stepped up into a shooting lane and wired a wrist shot through traffic into the far corner.
Video: CAR@FLA: Bean scores on power play for first NHL goal
"We had a good break in on the power play. Pesce rolled over the top, gave it to me and I was walking it down. No pressure," Bean described. "I saw Nino in front. He had a great screen on the goal. It wouldn't have gone in if he wasn't there."
Martin Necas, a teammate of his on the Charlotte Checkers Calder Cup championship team, snagged the puck and tossed it to Alex Nedeljkovic, another Checkers alum.
"Marty is a great player and an even better guy. Same with Alex. I had a lot of good memories with them in Charlotte," Bean smiled. "We're always supporting each other."
"All the boys on the bench were so happy and so excited for him. He's been playing really well. You're always happy for a guy to get his first," Warren Foegele said. "He's a really special player and a great person."
If for nothing else, Necas deserves fist bumps for his silky smooth deciding goal in the shootout.
Video: CAR@FLA: Necas goes five-hole for shootout victory
Dougie Hamilton and Trocheck also netted goals in the shootout, and the Canes are certainly not short on skilled to throw over the boards.
"We've got a lot of talented guys, and they know how to score in the shootout," Foegele said. "We're all confident that the guys who are going, they're going to get it done."
The Canes' power play was unable to make a difference in a 3-1 loss on Thursday night in Tampa. It finished the night 0-for-5, and it's not that it was a total mess - it wasn't, and it was actually threatening at times - but the lack of execution was glaring in the box score, especially when the team managed just a goal otherwise.
The Canes converted on their first two power plays of the game on Saturday, a bounce-back performance for the man advantage.
"The power play was good," Brind'Amour said. "We got a couple bounces, a couple pucks that went in that weren't going in the other night."
The Canes' penalty kill was equally impressive. It finished 3-for-4 on the evening, but the Canes arguably generated more scoring chances shorthanded than the Panthers had a man up, especially in the second period.
In just 68 seconds, the Canes had three shorthanded breakaways. Sebastian Aho put a shot off the post. Then, Sergei Bobrovsky extended the left pad to rob Brock McGinn's chance. Shortly after, Bobrovsky poked the puck off Necas' stick.
"That actually got our game going," Brind'Amour said. "I thought the penalty kill really flipped the momentum and got us rolling."
10: The Canes have won their last 10 shootouts, the longest active streak in the NHL that dates back to March 2019.
10: Pesce tallied two primary assists to bring his season total to 10, tied for second-most on the team. His second helper of the game was a critical one, as his shot was deflected in by Foegele to put the Canes ahead 3-2 late in the third period. Pesce now has four points (1g, 3a) in his last four games.
Video: CAR@FLA: Foegele tips puck home to give Canes lead
"He's got a lot of poise," Foegele said. "We have to go to the net. That's where the goals are. It was a great shot by Brett."
Quote of the Night
"We needed to get the win here. … Every game matters and every point matters. To get two points against a good team is important." - Vincent Trocheck
The Canes and Panthers will rematch on Monday night.