Barkov, Reinhart score in shootout to lift Panthers past Penguins
“He’s an unbelievable pro,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said of Reinhart. “He’s completely unselfish. He just plays his game and plays hard. I’m glad that he gets rewarded for it.”
Reinhart scored his 36th goal of the season in regulation, extending his career-best points streak to 12 games. He's second in the NHL in goals behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews, and has 18 goals and 22 points in his last 16 games overall.
Reinhart has a league-best 19 power-play goals, which matches a franchise record for most in one season, shared by Scott Mellanby and Pavel Bure. Reinhart has goals in eight straight road games, also a franchise record.
Former Penguin Evan Rodrigues also scored for Florida on the power play, his eighth goal of the season.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves for the Panthers, who won their third straight game. Florida has won eight of its last 12 overall.
“Having adversity in a game, being in the penalty box all night can be a real negative, or it can be a real positive,” Maurice said. “I think they had a little bit of fun going through that game.”
Evgeni Malkin recovered from scoring in his own goal during Monday’s loss at Arizona and forced overtime Friday against Florida with his 16th goal of the season. The tying goal against the Panthers came with 41.5 seconds left in regulation.
“It was a little bit down for my confidence." Malkin said of his mistake Monday. "I needed a goal tonight, for sure.”
Guentzel scored his 21st goal of the season in regulation, a power-play goal, but Pittsburgh finished 1 for 8 with the man advantage.
“I thought there were moments where we looked pretty good, but there were others where we looked disconnected,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said about the power play. “Obviously, it’s disappointing that we didn’t score more.”
Nedeljkovic stopped 30 shots for the Penguins, who lost their third straight overall. Pittsburgh has lost five of six and seven of its last 10 games overall.
Both teams scored a power-play goal in the first five minutes.
Guentzel stuffed a puck across the line just inside the right post at 1:51, breaking a five-game, 0-for-19 power-play slump. Erik Karlsson continued a 10-game point streak with a secondary assist, the longest active run by a defenseman.
Rodrigues tied it at 4:52 of the first period when he converted a rebound from the top of the crease.
Reinhart scored his power-play goal at 11:49 of the second period, following a double-minor to Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Letang tripped Rodrigues and later made contact with Barkov in the same sequence. Barkov, who fell awkwardly and hit his head on the boards, remained down, but eventually left under his own power and returned later in the period.
“Barkov kind of stepped in front of me, so I peeled off and I think my skate clipped him and his foot got caught, but I did not hit him, that’s for sure,” Letang said.
The Panthers took four penalties in the final 7:05 of the second period, including a double-minor to Sam Bennett and another roughing call on Anton Lundell, both targeting Letang, but Pittsburgh was unable to capitalize.
“We got the kills that we needed to off that,” Maurice said. “We handled it incredibly well. I thought they were a confident group, killing. They care about each other.”
Panthers: Visit the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Penguins: Host Montreal on Saturday.
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