Aleksander Barkov scored 24 seconds into overtime, and the Florida Panthers rallied to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, on Saturday.
Barkov carried the puck through the neutral zone and scored on a wrist shot that goalie Alex Nedeljkovic got a piece of with his stick.
"We're battling with this challenge all year, trying to find ways to win the games," Barkov said. "If you want to go all the way, there's going to be games like this, so you have to be ready."
MacKenzie Weegar scored an NHL career-high four points (one goal, three assists), and Chris Driedger made 16 saves for Florida (31-13-5), which is 5-1-1 in its past seven games and trails Carolina by one point for first place in the Discover Central Division. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Panthers finished 2-4-2 against the Hurricanes this season.
"This was a huge win for us," Weegar said. "Lots of emotions coming in before the game. We really wanted to win this one. Credit to everybody that played. We battled hard. Maybe a little bit of a slow start, but I'm happy with the way the boys played tonight."
Video: CAR@FLA: Weegar buries a one-timer from the circle
Dougie Hamilton scored two goals, and Nedeljkovic made 32 saves for Carolina (31-10-6), which would have clinched a playoff berth with a win. The Hurricanes, who played without six injured regulars, split the two-game set, winning 4-2 here Thursday. They are 4-0-2 in their past six.
"We came in here and we got three out of four points, short-staffed," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I think that's a win for us in a lot of ways. They were better than us tonight for sure, but somehow we managed to get a point out of it."
Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle played his 915th consecutive regular-season game dating to March 26, 2009, passing Gary Unger (Feb. 24, 1968-Dec. 21, 1979) for the second-longest streak in NHL history. Doug Jarvis played 964 straight (Oct. 8, 1975-Oct. 10, 1987).
Hamilton gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead when his one-timer from the right point went in off the stick of Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist at 3:25 of the first period.
Weegar tied it 1-1 with 25 seconds remaining in the period with a one-timer from the right face-off circle off a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau, who had two assists.
Hamilton scored a power-play goal on a slap shot to give Carolina a 2-1 lead at 1:37 of the second period.
"It's obviously nice when it goes in," Hamilton said. "It's just about getting opportunities for me and getting in spots to shoot. It's just about the process of getting shots."
Brett Pesce extended the lead to 3-1 at 3:01 of the third period when his shot from the left point went in off the skate of Florida defenseman Gustav Forsling.
The Panthers then scored twice in 1:32. Forsling cut it to 3-2 at 4:48 after receiving a cross-ice pass from Huberdeau.
"We had the game 3-1 and we were in a great spot," Brind'Amour said. "Blowing defensive-zone coverage can't happen. That goal got the momentum going for them."
Video: CAR@FLA: Forsling buries Huberdeau's cross ice dish
Alex Wennberg tied it 3-3 with a shorthanded goal at 6:20 when he backhanded the rebound of Weegar's shot in front.
"I felt a lot of passion, a lot of emotion on the bench," Florida coach Joel Quenneville said of the third-period comeback. "It was very intense, whether it was frustration or, here we are getting behind. I think that determination and perseverance found its way."
NOTES: Hurricanes forward Jesper Fast was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. … Carolina is 22-0-3 this season when leading to start the third period. … The Hurricanes had a season-low 19 shots on goal. … Weegar tied the Panthers record for most points in a game by a defenseman, becoming the seventh to do it. … Barkov scored his fifth NHL overtime goal. … Florida leads the NHL with eight overtime wins.
Video: Barkov's OT winner propels Panthers past Hurricanes