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Best Florida Panthers Goals of 2019-20 (So Far!)

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Best Goals of 2019-20 So Far

Best Goals of 2019-20 So Far

A collection of the best goals so far from the 2019-20 season

  • 06:45 •

Who else is really missing the sound of a goal horn right about now?

With the NHL put on pause and red lights around the league gathering dust, I know that we could all probably use some hockey-related content in our lives. I mean, you can only stay up late playing online matches of EA Sport's NHL20 while listening to Jimmy Eat World's "Sweetness" so many times, right?

That being said, it felt like now would be an opportune time to take a long look back at some of the best goals we saw scored by the Florida Panthers during the 2019-20 season up until this point. Now, keep in mind, the Panthers are sitting on 228 goals - the sixth-most in the NHL - so there was a lot to pick from.

But with the help of some of my Panthers co-workers, I managed to whittle that number down to just 10 of my personal favorites. From clutch game-winning goals to some incredible individual efforts, I wanted to give my list a little bit of everything, including showcasing as many of the team's scorers as possible.

So, in chronological order, here are 10 of my favorites goals from the 2019-20 season… so far!

10. Oct. 5, 2019: A Hat Trick for Hoffman in the Home Opener

Mike Hoffman had himself a night during the Home Opener on Oct. 5.

And while the 30-year-old sniper netted three goals to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Lightning, it was the first goal of his second-career hat trick that I decided to focus on for the purpose of this article.

With the game still scoreless around the midway point of the second period, Jonathan Huberdeau threaded a pass through three Bolts right onto to the stick of Hoffman, who then ripped a shot over Andrei Vasilevskiy's shoulder on the power play to break the ice and give Florida a 1-0 lead at 9:39.

Video: TBL@FLA: Hoffman wires home wrister for PPG

"We wanted to come out and have a strong presence on home ice," Hoffman said following the thrilling win. "The fans were into the game right from the start. It was a fun building to play in, and we wanted to put on a good performance for them. Throughout the whole lineup, everyone was there ready to go."

9. Oct. 30, 2019: Huberdeau's Clutch in Colorado

After tying the game with 1:30 left in regulation, Jonathan Huberdeau finished the job in overtime.

While crashing to the ice, Aleksander Barkov somehow managed to flip the puck up to Huberdeau, who then deked around a poke check from Philipp Grubauer before scoring off his backhand to complete the comeback and give the Panthers a 4-3 win over the Avalanche just 29 seconds into overtime on Oct. 30.

Video: FLA@COL: Huberdeau strikes quickly in overtime

"Me and Barky were kind of looking for a bounce," Huberdeau said when asked about the goal after the game. "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… Tonight just showed the character of our team. It was a huge comeback."

8. Nov. 10, 2019: Dadonov With the Dish, Vatrano With the Finish

Between the pass and the finish, this might be my favorite goal on the list.

After lighting up Brendan Smith with a big hit along the boards in the defensive zone, Evgenii Dadonov then sent a tape-to-tape stretch pass to Frank Vatrano while falling down. Carrying the puck across the blue line on a breakaway, Vatrano then roofed a shot to tie the game 4-4 at 8:30 the second period.

From there, the Panthers went on to beat the Rangers by a score of 6-5 in a shootout on Nov. 10.

Video: FLA@NYR: Dadonov sets up Vatrano's breakaway goal

"We weathered the storm, played well in overtime and then we got the win in the shootout," Vatrano said after the win. "It was a good all-around effort from all of us."

7. Nov. 12, 2019: Yandle's Big Goal in Beantown

When the Panthers erased a four-goal deficit in the third period to come from behind and secure a 5-4 shootout win over the Bruins on Nov. 12, it was a hometown Cat that helped get the game to overtime.

Playing in the same arena where he watched countless games in as a kid, proud Bostonian Keith Yandle came up big for the Panthers late, flying down from the blue line, jumping on a loose puck and sending a shot straight past Tuukka Rask from the doorstep to tie the game 4-4 with 1:39 remaining in regulation.

From there, rookie goaltender Sam Montembeault, who entered the game in relief, shut the door and Mike Hoffman netted the winner in the shootout to complete the biggest comeback in franchise history.

Video: FLA@BOS: Yandle goes upstairs to tie the game in 3rd

"We never gave up," said Montembeault, who stopped all 15 shots he faced in regulation and overtime. "We talked to each other after the second. Just like in New York, we know we have the weapons to come back in those games. We got one early, put them on their heels and then kept putting pressure."

6. Nov. 21, 2019: Ekblad Wins The Game, Keeps on Running

Just nine days after their incredible comeback in Boston, the Panthers somehow did it again.

Clawing back from yet another 4-0 deficit, Aaron Ekblad beat Sam Steel to a loose puck along the right boards before rifling a shot over John Gibson's glove and into the top corner of the net just 22 seconds into overtime to cap off an unforgettable 5-4 victory for the Panthers over the Ducks back on Nov. 21.

Following the goal, we were also treated to one of the best celebrations of the season.

Video: ANA@FLA: Ekblad roofs shot to complete rally in OT

"It's crazy," said Ekblad, who notched the first multi-goal game of his career in the win. "A great team effort. Obviously we got together between the second and third [periods] and had some words in here. But really it's all belief from every guy.

"You're sitting on the bench, goals are going in, but nobody's freaking out. Everybody's calm, cool and collected. We're confident that we can come back in any situation. We obviously don't want to be in that situation often, but it's a huge win."

5. Dec. 20, 2019: Acciari Caps Off Second Hat Trick on a Penalty Shot

We didn't have much time to bask in the glow of Acciari's first-career hat trick.

Sending hats hurtling toward the ice for the second time in as many games, Acciari, who had no multi-goal games prior to this season, registered another hat trick to lift Florida to a 7-4 win over the Stars on Dec. 20.

And while all three goals were certainly nice, it was the third that really stands out to me.

Awarded a penalty shot - the first of his career, mind you - at 11:25 of the second period, Acciari snuck a shot through Anton Khudobin's five-hole to lock in the hat trick and increase the lead to 7-1. With all three goals coming within a span of 3:59, the hat trick was the fastest in the franchise's 26-year history.

Video: DAL@FLA: Acciari converts on penalty shot for hatty

"The whole bench was pretty excited about it," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said when asked about Acciari's penalty shot. "I'm glad they awarded him the penalty shot. It was fun for everybody knowing that he's got the magic touch right now. I think everybody in the whole building was happy for him."

4. Jan. 20, 2020: Barkov Makes it Look Easy in Minnesota

Aleksander Barkov has a knack for making difficult goals look easy.

After collecting a long tape-to-tape pass from Josh Brown, Barkov skated in toward Minnesota's net and glided across the slot before floating a shot over Alex Stalock's outstretched glove and into the twine to put the Panthers on top 2-1 at 7:28 of the second period in an eventual 5-4 win over the Wild on Jan. 20.

Video: FLA@MIN: Barkov buries beautiful breakaway on Stalock

"It looked more like [Jonathan Huberdeau]," Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle said of Brown's slick stretch pass. "'Josh Huber-brown,' that's what he was calling himself. Unreal pass. Then, obviously, with [Barkov], he's a guy that when he gets a little bit of space he can finish with the best of them."

3. Feb. 3, 2020: Pysyk Puts in the Work to Earn First Hat Trick

The legend of "The Hybrid" really started to grow with this goal.

With two goals already in his back pocket, defenseman-turned-forward Mark Pysyk forced a turnover at the blue line, shook of an aggressive tripping call and then whacked the puck into an empty net to earn the first hat trick of his career and lock down a 5-3 win for the Panthers over the Maple Leafs on Feb. 3.

Prior to the season being paused, Pysyk had racked up a career-high nine goals.

Video: FLA@TOR: Pysyk scores on empty net for hat trick

"They were all beating me up, roughing me up a little bit," Pysyk said when asked about the reaction from his teammates immediately following his third and final goal of the night. "It's a lot of fun."

2. Feb. 29, 2020: Hoffman Takes Care of Business Himself

Mike Hoffman has a team-high 29 goals this season, so it's only natural he ended up on this list twice.

Booking it down the left boards after forcing a turnover, Hoffman, cutting toward the net, moved the puck from his forehand to his backhand before slipping a shot past Corey Crawford's left pad to give the Cats a 1-0 lead at 4:07 of the first period in an eventual 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks on Feb. 29.

Video: CHI@FLA: Hoffman beats Crawford on breakaway

"I'm trying to do what I can to help this team win and collect points," Hoffman said after the game. "Any time you can get on the board is a bonus."

1. March 7, 2020: Wallmark Makes His Presence Felt with the Panthers

Wallmark wasted no time in showing Panthers fans what he can do.

In just his sixth game after beating dealt from Carolina to Florida at the NHL Trade Deadline, the 24-year-old winger brought the crowd at BB&T Center to its feet when he cut toward the net, faked a slap shot and then beat Charlie Lindgren to break the ice in an eventual 4-1 win over the Canadiens on March 7.

"It means a lot," Wallmark said when asked about potting his first goal as a member of the Panthers. "It was nice to do that. You don't have to think about that anymore. It was a big goal for us, too."

Video: MTL@FLA: Wallmark nets nifty backhander falling down

So, those are my top-10 goal picks from the 2019-20 season so far… but what are yours?

Make sure to share your favorite goals with @FlaPanthers and @JamesonCoop on Twitter!

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