ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP)Anton Lundell and Aleksander Barkov scored in the shootout to send the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
Eetu Luostarinen scored in regulation for Florida, which has won four of its past five games. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for the Panthers in a low-scoring game with plenty of scoring opportunities.
Bobrovsky stopped two of the three players he faced in the shootout.
”Bob was unbelievable today,” Lundell said. ”He kept us in the game, took some big saves and gave us, pretty much, two points today.”
Filip Gustavsson nearly matched Bobrovsky save for save, making 33 saves for Minnesota. Kirill Kaprizov scored in regulation for the Wild, who have lost four of five since the All-Star break.
”We’ve had a couple of games like that now and to be honest, we have to go and get some of the dirty goals,” Kaprizov said through a translator. ”Find a way to win some ugly battles and get some ugly goals and that’ll open up some space for us to be able to make some plays and score some nicer goals. But myself included, I think I need to go and get some dirty goals and find a way have things open up in the ice and to start winning games.”
The goaltenders shined as Florida outshot Minnesota 34-28 and had a 14-3 advantage in shots at one point in the first period.
Both teams had their chances. They went a combined 0 of 12 on the power play, with the Panthers unable to score on seven man-advantage opportunities.
They had entered the day with a 33.3% scoring rate on the power play since the start of 2023, the best mark in the NHL. Florida had a power-play goal in seven of its previous 10 games.
”I don’t want to get fined,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. ”You guys see it. We all see it. It’s tough. It was tough tonight. But having said that, we’ve been praising, our group’s been so good, disciplined, only one penalty here, and then that happens. And it’s hard because we obviously can’t take seven minors but we really liked our composure.”
On the defensive side, the Panthers have now killed 18 of 19 penalties in the past six games.
”There wasn’t a lot of flow in that game,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. ”Both team’s penalty kill was really good. Both team’s goalies were really good on the penalty kill. That’s the important part.”
Luostarinen opened the scoring 2:06 into the second period, deflecting a point shot from Gustav Forsling for his 12th goal of the season.
Minnesota answered back three minutes later when Kaprizov scored his 30th of the season. Kaprizov was finally able to control a bouncing puck entering the offensive zone and wristed a quick shot high past Bobrovsky.
”The only thing I can say is it’s big points for us,” Bobrovsky said. ”This time of year, it’s already like a playoff spot kind of. It’s a huge point.”
THIRD’S A CHARM
Lundell was Florida’s first shooter in the shootout and was seen working on his stick prior to the shootout attempt.
”I don’t know what happened today,” Lundell said. ”I broke two sticks in the game, which is not normal for me. So, I had to take a new stick for the shootout and it worked pretty well.”
Wild forward Marcus Foligno left the game in the second period after taking a shot off the inside of his left knee. Foligno never returned and the team said he’s dealing with a lower-body injury. Foligno had to be helped off the ice and couldn’t put any weight on his left leg as he left.
Panthers: Finish a back-to-back Tuesday in St. Louis.
Wild: Host Colorado on Wednesday.
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