The Florida Panthers found the back of the net in overtime and finished off a comeback over the Nashville Predators in the second half of a preseason doubleheader on Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena.
The Predators took an early 2-0 lead in the contest, but Florida tied things late before winning the game in the extra frame.
It was the first showing of the new 3-on-3 overtime format, part of the NHL’s rule changes for the 2015-16 season. There were plenty of opportunities for both sides in the slightly more than two minutes it required to decide a winner.
“We had our chances,” defenseman Seth Jones said. “We had two breakaways and quality scoring chances right in the slot, so it’s back and forth hockey. You’ve got to play smart. The League wants odd-man rushes, and that’s what they got. It just depends on who capitalizes first.”
Taylor Aronson tallied first for Nashville just 2:06 into the contest, following up on a rebound off the pads of Florida goaltender Al Montoya for a 1-0 lead, with helpers from Max Gortz and Max Reinhart.
Less than two minutes later, Mike Fisher capitalized on a wrister from the left circle for a 2-0 advantage over the Panthers. Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok added assists on Fisher’s first of the preseason.
Aleksander Barkov beat Pekka Rinne on a breakaway before the opening stanza was out to cut the lead to 2-1, a score that held steady through the middle frame.
With just 2:17 to go in regulation, Florida’s Shane Harper knotted things up, where Michael Matheson put the game winner past Preds goaltender Juuse Saros.
Despite the loss, the Preds were satisfied with not only their victory in the first contest of the day, but also their efforts in the second outing.
“There were a lot of guys out there doing a lot of good things,” forward Colin Wilson said. “A lot of young guys were doing really well out there. [Yakov] Trenin looked good, [Steve] Moses looked good, you can name a bunch of guys, so I thought the team did well.”
Infographic: Preds Fall in 3-on-3
Read: Forsberg, Power Play Guide Predators Past Panthers in First Half of Doubleheader
Note: Highlights from both contests will be available online on Monday