Sometimes "it's better to be lucky than good." That expression sure can relate to Panthers forward Brad Boyes and when it comes to the shootout.
In a bizarre ending Thursday night, Boyes scored in the bottom of the third round of the shootout to give the Cats a 2-1 victory over Buffalo. The NHL's best active shootout skater, Boyes got some luck in putting the puck off the post and then Jhonas Enroth to give the Panthers the extra point.
It certainly didn't look pretty after one referee waived off the eventual game-deciding goal and the other calling it a goal but in the end it was efficient.
Now with 37 career shootout goals, two more than Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk and Minnesota's Zach Parise, Boyes had to change up his latest attempt to fool an ex-teammate as Enroth knew where Boyes liked to shoot.
"Shootout as far as it was, being here and going against him in practice a lot, he was showing glove, he was kind of waving it to me," said Boyes who played in Buffalo for a season in a half (2011-12). "I think he was on me, he knows kind of where I go so I tried to change it up a bit. It was good. I have trouble against guys that I go against that I've played with so it was nice to get it on him.
"I liked that one."
With the puck off the post, Enroth and eventually into the net, the Panthers finally got some luck on their side after hitting several posts during the game but not able to find a second goal past Enroth after Boyes tied the game at one midway through the third.
"I know. Irony I guess," said Boyes following the game on the post winner. "Hopefully it was some luck but it kind of went the other way a lot of times but finally the luck started shifting to us a little bit."
But maybe, just maybe, that's exactly how Boyes drew it up for his sixth shootout goal of the season and second game-deciding goal.
"Boysie is a very talented guy. He told me he was going to do that before he did it," joked netminder Tim Thomas. "Maybe not, but we'll take it any way we can get it at this point."
Drawn up or not, it was another big two points for the Panthers provided by the NHL's shootout king.