NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Florida finally won a game that extended past regulation time.
Vincent Trocheck scored the deciding goal in the shootout to give the Panthers a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.
Denis Malgin and Brett Connolly scored in regulation for Florida, which has won two of three. The Panthers have gone to overtime in four of their eight games this season and lost the previous three, two in a shootout and one in overtime.
“We’ve lost three in a row in those type of situations. It’s nice to get one,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville said.
Florida’s Sam Montembeault made 25 saves and denied all three Nashville shooters in the shootout.
“I felt really good today,” Montembeault said. “I haven’t won a game in a shootout in almost two years, so it was important to me to win this one.”
Roman Josi and Kyle Turris scored the goals for Nashville, which has lost three of four. Ryan Ellis had two assists for the Predators, who played their first overtime game of the season.
“Give our guys a lot of credit for battling back and tying it up,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “I thought we played hard in the third to come back and get a point.”
Malgin scored the game’s first goal at 13:33 of the second period.
With the Panthers on a power play, Trocheck sent a cross-ice pass from above the right faceoff circle to Malgin in the lower part of the left circle. From there, he lifted a wrist shot high to the glove side of Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.
Rinne made 28 saves in the game and allowed just the one goal in the shootout.
Connolly made it 2-0 with 50 seconds remaining in the second. Skating around the Nashville zone with the puck, Connolly sent a wrist shot through traffic toward the Nashville net from the middle of the blue line and beat Rinne low to the glove side.
“There was traffic and I just threw it there,” Connolly said. “You’ve got to put it there sometimes. Sometimes they just have eyes and that time it did, and I was very happy to see that one go in. It was a big goal.”
Connolly has four goals in his current three-game goal scoring streak.
Josi ended Montembeault’s shutout bid at 9:07 of the third on a one-timer from above the right faceoff circle off a pass from Ellis.
Turris evened the game at 2 at 13:30 of the third with a wrist shot just underneath the cross bar on a Nashville power play.
“We kind of talked about it, that we want to have a real good push late in games,” Turris said. “We’ve been able to do that so far.”
Rinne picked up a secondary assist on Turris’ goal.
Florida’s Aleksander Barkov played just three shifts in the first period and did not return to the game. Quenneville did not have an update on Barkov after the game.
Notes: Turris’ power-play goal ended Florida’s stretch of not allowing a power-play goal in their last four games. … Nashville LW Filip Forsberg missed his second consecutive game due to a lower-body injury. … Predators C Ryan Johansen and RW Craig Smith both played in their 600th career NHL games. … Nashville C Yakov Trenin made his NHL debut.
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