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game recap

Bobrovsky wins season debut in OT, Panthers deny Blackhawks first victory

Goalie stops penalty shot, Vatrano scores at 2:50 for Florida

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

Vatrano rifles in OT winner

CHI@FLA: Vatrano buries Barkov's set-up for OT winner

Frank Vatrano receives a slick cross-ice feed from Aleksander Barkov and fires home an overtime winner to give the Panthers a 5-4 victory

  • 00:38 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sergei Bobrovsky won his season debut for the Florida Panthers when Frank Vatrano scored at 2:50 of overtime for a 5-4 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center on Tuesday.

Bobrovsky, who missed most of training camp because he was unfit to practice, stopped a penalty shot and made 30 saves, and Carter Verhaeghe and Patric Hornqvist each scored two goals for the Panthers (2-0-0). Aleksander Barkov, Anthony Duclair and Keith Yandle each had two assists.

"Obviously, four goals, not what you want, but I felt good in there," Bobrovsky said. "In the circumstances I was in, I think I felt pretty good. There were a couple of mistakes here and there by me, so I have to clean it up, but overall I felt well. I felt my legs were good, my movement was good."

Dominik Kubalik had two goals and an assist, and Kevin Lankinen made 23 saves in his NHL debut for the Blackhawks (0-3-1). Lucas Wallmark and Duncan Keith each had two assists.

Video: CHI@FLA: Kubalik cranks PPG past Bobrovsky from point

The Panthers swept the two-game set at BB&T Center; they won 5-2 on Sunday.

The Blackhawks have allowed five goals in each of their four games this season.

"A lot of good performances from guys," Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I would have loved to see us get rewarded with two points, would have been a nice way to go home. But the focus still remains on getting better, and I think that was probably our best effort and we have to continue to go that direction."

Vatrano one-timed Barkov's cross-ice pass in the right face-off circle.

"It was a huge win," Florida coach Joel Quenneville said. "And we'll take it. Certainly some parts of our game have got to get better, but I liked the pace that we showed. I don't know if we saw that pace at any point last year."

After trailing 3-1 in the second period, the Blackhawks took a 4-3 lead at 6:06 of the third period when Philipp Kurashev scored his first NHL goal.

Hornqvist tied it 4-4 with a power-play goal at 7:17 when Yandle's shot from the point grazed his jersey in front of the net.

Video: CHI@FLA: Hornqvist deflects puck home for PPG

Verhaeghe scored on a breakaway for his first goal with the Panthers, giving them a 1-0 lead at 13:25.

Hornqvist made it 2-0 on a rebound at 16:16 on the power play.

"He's got that knack of playing [in front of the] goal," Quenneville said of Hornqvist, who also scored in his Panthers debut Sunday. "He's a distraction for goalies. Sometimes they have to play deep in their nets. There's a lot of loose pucks hanging around in front of the net the last few games, and those have got to get to the back of the net at some point. Sometimes you get double, triple coverage in front of their own goalie, but he knows how to park himself there and he's willing to fight those battles."

Kubalik cut it to 2-1 at 18:40 with his first goal, a one-timer that deflected off Panthers defenseman Riley Stillman. Verhaeghe made it 3-1 at 2:45 of the second period when he tapped in a loose puck after Lankinen stopped Duclair on a breakaway.

Video: CHI@FLA: Verhaeghe fires loose puck in for PPG

Kubalik pulled the Blackhawks within 3-2 with his second power-play goal at 8:05 on a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

Chicago has scored at least one power-play goal in its first four games for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

"Obviously, I feel that's kind of my wheelhouse, but I'm just happy to score, happy the power play was going pretty well," Kubalik said. "I'm just really happy it worked out this time."

After Bobrovsky stopped Patrick Kane on a penalty shot at 14:28, Kane tied it 3-3 at 19:10 with a high backhand from a sharp angle after getting around Stillman.

The Blackhawks lost by fewer than three goals for the first time in their four games. They were swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 and 5-2 to start the season.

"Well, it's hard to talk about it, obviously," Kubalik said. "We wanted to win, but at least we get a point. I think the work ethic was pretty good today and felt like we did lots of good things. We finally get some goals too. Just sad that we didn't make it to the win."

Video: Vatrano's OT goal gives Panther 5-4 win

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