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game recap

Vatrano has four points for Panthers in win against Sharks

Florida scores four in third period, gets third straight victory; San Jose loses third in row

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

Vatrano nets silky backhand

SJS@FLA: Vatrano roofs nifty backhand past Jones

Frank Vatrano receives Evgenii Dadonov's feed on the rush and roofs a backhand shot over the glove of Martin Jones to extend the Panthers' lead

  • 01:03 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Keith Yandle and Vincent Trocheck scored power-play goals nine seconds apart in the third period for the Florida Panthers in a 6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks at BB&T Center on Monday.

Yandle and Trocheck gave Florida a 4-2 lead after San Jose forward Evander Kane was assessed a double minor for high-sticking Nick Bjugstad at 1:56.

"We had some confidence, obviously, to go in there and try to get the momentum," Trocheck said. "Big power play for us. [Yandle] and I get two big goals to go up two, give us a little bit of insurance and give us that momentum. The power play came up huge today."


[WATCH: All Sharks vs. Panthers highlights]


Frank Vatrano had a goal and three assists, and Mike Matheson, Keith Yandle and Nick Bjugstad scored for the Panthers (20-20-8), who have won three in a row following a seven-game losing streak. Roberto Luongo made 27 saves, and Aleksander Barkov had three assists.

Vatrano, who set an NHL career high with his four points, has three goals and three assists in four games since being moved up to the top line with Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov.

"Sometimes that's how hockey goes," Vatrano said. "You feel good and you feel real confident going into game after game. That's how I'm feeling right now. Obviously, there's a (10-day) break (between games) coming up, but you gotta keep it going. I think the team all around is just making me better."

Video: SJS@FLA: Ekblad goes top shelf to beat Jones

Logan Couture and Timo Meier scored for the Sharks (28-16-7), who have lost three in a row following a seven-game winning streak. Martin Jones made 16 saves before being pulled after Vatrano scored at 7:22 of the third period to make it 5-2. Aaron Dell replaced Jones and made eight saves.

San Jose was without all-star defenseman Erik Karlsson for the second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury.

"I thought we played a pretty tight road game," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I didn't think we gave them a lot of looks through the first two periods, and we were in a good spot. You feel for [Kane]. It's not an undisciplined penalty. He chips the puck by the guy and catches him with his stick. At that point, we need a big kill, we need a big save, and we didn't get either."

The game was tied when Yandle scored at 2:27 with a wrist shot from the point through a screen to make it 3-2.

Trocheck made it 4-2 at 2:36 after Sharks defenseman Radim Simek lost his balance in the San Jose zone during a clearing attempt. Vatrano took the puck off the turnover and passed to Trocheck, who scored with a wrist shot from the slot.

It was the fifth time in Panthers history they scored two goals in nine seconds or less.

Video: SJS@FLA: Panthers net two on power play in 9 seconds

Bjugstad scored on the power play with 38 seconds left for the 6-2 final. It was his first goal since Nov. 15.

Ekblad gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 17:21 of the first period with a high wrist shot from the high slot.

Couture tied it 1-1 at 4:21 of the second when he tipped Brent Burns' shot from the point.

Matheson gave Florida a 2-1 lead at 6:07 before Meier tied it 2-2 at 13:20 with his first goal in 18 games.

The officials initially ruled no goal on Meier's backhand from the crease before reviewing the play and calling it a good goal. That call stood after Panthers coach Bob Boughner challenged for goaltender interference.

"It was a game where it didn't feel like we were giving up a lot and we weren't creating a lot," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "It was a pretty tight game early on. They come out and they get two quick power-play goals. Sometimes it can happen as quick as that, and that was the difference; it was their power play."

Video: SJS@FLA: Couture redirects Burns' shot past Luongo


They said it

"I don't think our game was good enough. I thought we were too soft defensively. Off the rush, we gave up the line too easily. On offense, we were too soft on the forecheck. I thought when we had opportunities, we were hard on pucks and created some offensive shifts, but other than that, it wasn't very good." -- Sharks forward Logan Couture


"We're having fun. It's fun to win some hockey games. It's been tough for us this year in that department, and to go into a break like this with a little bit of momentum, having some fun, it's going to make a big difference for the second half." -- Panthers center Vincent Trocheck on their three-game winning streak entering their mandatory break around the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game

Need to know

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic participated in the morning skate but missed his ninth game with a wrist injury. … Vatrano became the third undrafted player to have four points in a game for the Panthers, joining Jesse Belanger (two goals, two assists against Washington Capitals on Jan. 19, 1994) and Steve Reinprecht (two goals, two assists against Anaheim Ducks on April 11, 2009). … Ekblad became the 13th NHL defenseman in the modern era (since 1943-44) to score at least 10 goals each of his first five seasons.

What's next

Sharks: At the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNE, SNO, SNP, TVAS, NBCSWA, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Nashville Predators on Feb. 1 (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Vatrano has four points as Panthers beat Sharks, 6-2

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