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5 Takeaways: Panthers Complete Comeback on Huberdeau's Overtime Winner

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop /

10/30/19 Post Game Interviews

10/30/19 Post Game Interviews

Interviews with Head Coach Joel Quenneville and forwards Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau.

  • 01:15 •

DENVER - The Florida Panthers never hit the panic button.

Down 3-1 late in the third period in Colorado, the Panthers came back to tie the game and force overtime, where Jonathan Huberdeau scored his second goal of the night just 29 seconds into the extra frame to secure a 4-3 win over the Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Wednesday night.

"We don't need to panic," Huberdeau said of the comeback. "Even if we're down two goals, we're focused. We're that kind of team. We're good. We know we can come back every game."

Matt Nieto opened the scoring for the Avalanche, jumping on a loose puck in the crease and poking it past Sergei Bobrovsky to put Florida in a 1-0 hole at 6:05. But less than five minutes later, Colton Sceviour tied things up when he tipped a puck past Philip Grubauer to make it 1-1 at 9:59.

With 32 seconds left in the period, Joonas Donskoi scored to put Colorado up 2-1.

Following a scoreless second period, the Avalanche struck again in the third on a long shot from Nathan MacKinnon that made it 3-1 at 7:37. Finishing the night with a goal and an assist against the Panthers, Mackinnon has now had a point in all 12 of Colorado's games so far this season.

In the third period, the Panthers began to mount their comeback after Dryden Hunt tussled with Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who had injured forward Jayce Hawryluk earlier in the period. After the fight, Zadorov pointed his finger at Florida's entire bench before being ejected.

Huberdeau said the team fed off the heated moment.

"It's character," he said when asked about the altercation. "We don't give up."

Just 11 seconds after the incident with Zadorov, Aleksander Barkov scored on the power play to cut the deficit to 3-2 at 12:04, Then, with 1:30 remaining in regulation and the goaltender pulled, Huberdeau connected on a wrist shot through traffic to make it a 3-3 game and force overtime.

In the extra frame, Huberdeau slipped a backhander through Grubauer's five-hole for the 4-3 win.

"I love the response in the last eight minutes, for sure," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was a great shot by Huby to tie it, and what a finish as well. It was a huge win for us and a huge road trip for us. Coming up with points when you're down two goals in the third on the road, that's a special win."

Bobrovsky finished with 27 saves, while Grubauer made 34.

"I thought he was great," Quenneville said of Bobrovsky, who has gone 4-0-3 over his last seven starts.

"I thought he hung in there. They had some shots that were coming and had some heavy shooters from the top. I thought he was effective in finding the pucks in those areas as well."

With the win, Florida (6-3-4) finished with five out of eight points on its four-game road trip.

"Very happy," Quenneville said of the trip. "I think overall all the teams we played are really good teams, really good home teams. Being above .500 makes it look like a real good trip."

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday's overtime win in Colorado…


It was almost a matter of time before Sceviour was rewarded with a goal.

With the Panthers trailing 1-0, the 30-year-old winger skated toward the right circle before re-directing a long shot from Aaron Ekblad past Grubauer to make it 1-1 at 9:59 of the first period. The goal was Sceviour's first of the season. 

Video: FLA@COL: Sceviour deflects in Ekblad's shot

A key cog on Florida's tough-as-nails fourth line, Sceviour now has four points (one goal, three assists) in 13 games this season, while also posting 12 hits, eight blocks and four takeaways.


Before taking the ice tonight, Denis Malgin ripped a metaphorical monkey off Barkov's back.

Clearly, the gesture ended up having some sort of effect on Florida's captain.

On the power play in the third period, Barkov set up shop at the top of the crease before tipping in a Keith Yandle shot to cut Florida's deficit to 3-2 at 12:04 with his first goal of the campaign.

"I think our [video] guy captured it before the game, when Malgin did it for me," Barkov said of the incident with the monkey. "It was nice to get a goal, but even nicer with the win. The guys battled back pretty hard. We beat a pretty good team on the road. We're really happy right now."

Video: FLA@COL: Barkov tips in power-play goal

Although he had to wait for his first goal, Barkov has been chipping in on offense all season.

Producing at better than a point-per-game pace, the 23-year-old is tied with Huberdeau for the team-scoring lead with 15 points. Of those points, 14 have come in the form of assists, which are tied for the third-most in the league and only three behind Connor McDavid for first place.

"He's putting up points, but I think everyone would love to score a goal here and there," Quenneville said. "He made a nice play on the winner as well. I think that line, they've got a lot of good chances now. They're getting more comfortable in that area… It's a good step for him."


How did this one get through!?

With the Panthers desperately searching for a game-tying goal in the third period, Huberdeau took a pass from Aaron Ekblad and skated into the high slot before firing a slick wrist shot through a heap of traffic for a goal that made it 3-3 with 1:30 left in regulation.

Video: FLA@COL: Huberdeau ties it late for the Panthers

"It feels good. It's a huge two points," Huberdeau said. "I think we had a good road trip overall, except in Vancouver. I think we're starting to play more together and play more system-wise."

Tied with Barkov for the team-scoring lead with 15 points, Huberdeau has certainly been on fire as of late. Over his last five games, the 26-year-old has registered four goals and three assists.

"That's the way we've got to play every game," Huberdeau said.


After tying the game late, Huberdeau's heroics carried into overtime.

In their first shift of the extra frame, Barkov flipped the puck up to Huberdeau while falling to the ice. Near the top of the blue paint, Huberdeau then deked around a poke check from Grubauer before scoring off his backhand to secure the 4-3 win for Florida just 29 seconds into overtime.

Video: FLA@COL: Huberdeau scores winner after forcing OT

"Me and Barky were kind of looking for a bounce," Huberdeau said of the goal. "We haven't been getting a lot of bounces lately. I saw the puck and saw Grubauer had his stick out, so I just went backhand and five-hole. I knew it was open."

The goal was Huberdeau's seventh of the season and second game-winner.

"Tonight just showed the character of our team," Huberdeau said. "It was a huge comeback."


The Panthers are leaving the snow behind and heading back to Sunrise.

After ending the first month of the season with four straight games on the road, the team will now return to BB&T Center to kick off a home-heavy November schedule against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday - the first of eight games they'll be playing on home ice that month.

"Now we're going to have a little stretch at home," Huberdeau said, cracking a big smile. "It's going to be good to be under the sunshine a little bit."

That matchup with the Red Wings will also mark the first "Territory Takeover" of the season. At each Saturday home game, one local community and its members from within the Territory will be celebrated and receive special pricing at participating concession stands with a valid ID.

First up? Pembroke Pines and Southwest Ranches will be honored against Detroit.

For tickets, please click HERE

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