Ducks battle back to take down Panthers in OT thriller, 5-4

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks battled back from 2-goal deficits twice to steal an overtime win on the road.

In the midst of a rough stretch of games, the Ducks took on a competitive Panthers team looking to snap a 2-game losing streak. For the second straight game, Anaheim would fall down 2-0 to start as goals from Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart put the Panthers in front. Before the end of the period, Alex Killorn would score his fifth on the season to help the Ducks cut the lead in half. To begin the second, Adam Henrique powered in his 11th on the year to tie the game at two. However, Florida would once again score back-to-back goals and reclaim a 4-2 lead. The Ducks continued to battle as Jakob Silfverberg scored just his second goal of the season to make it a one-goal game heading to the third period. Early in the third, Troy Terry delivered a clutch goal to tie things at four. With no further action in the third, Anaheim took the game to overtime and eventually scored the winner on Alex Killorn’s second of the contest.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Alex Killorn shows off clutch performance

A game after making his emotional return to Tampa Bay in a loss to the Lightning, Alex Killorn was a key factor in the Duck’s comeback win on Monday. Looking to shake off a 12-game streak without a goal scored, he got back on track with two of them. The first came very late in the opening period, as he was able to get one into the net before the buzzer and slow the momentum of a 2-0 start for the Panthers.

The second and third periods would prove to be an all-out battle for Anaheim, as they tied the game before going down by two goals once again. After battling back to tie the game at four and force overtime, Killorn put the game to bed with an overtime dagger.

It was an electric goal on the rebound from his own shot, and more importantly, it secured a big come-from-behind win to get his squad back in the win column. Hopefully, he won’t have to go 12 games again before the scoring returns and helps lift Anaheim to some more victories.

John Gibson shuts down Florida late in the game

After allowing two goals in each of the first two periods of the game, goalie John Gibson tightened up to help the Ducks reach the finish line. He successfully kept the Panthers from scoring in both the third period and the overtime session as his team delivered two goals of their own within that time span. On the day, Gibson saved 29/33 shots for a save percentage of .879. He was credited with his seventh win of the season so far and brought his record to 7-17-0. It was a clutch performance from Gibson as he made sure to keep Florida out of the net when it counted, and he should receive his credit as a big part of the comeback win in a road environment. He’s allowed 3.10 goals per game this season with a save percentage of .900, proving his ability to contribute for the Ducks on days when Lukas Dostal is not available. If the two Anaheim goalies can use this game as a spark, it will go a long way toward starting a winning streak and getting back to the winning ways that came towards the beginning of the year.

Henrique has two point night, Gudas gets ovation in Florida

Adam Henrique, one of the other key contributors in the Ducks’ Monday morning win, snapped a streak of his own. The 33-year-old ended an 11-game scoring drought with his goal in the second period that helped Anaheim to tie the game at two.

The goal came as part of a 2-point day for Henrique, who did his best to make sure that the squad would complete the comeback and grab win number 15. On the season, he’s tallied 11 goals to go along with 13 assists and 24 points. The team certainly appreciates his contributions and will hope for more of the same in the near future. As for defenseman Radko Gudas, he played in his first game back in Florida since leaving for the Ducks in free agency after three seasons with the Panthers. He was welcomed with a tribute video of his own (just as Killorn was on Saturday) and an ovation from the crowd. Gudas spoke on the day and the reception he received from the fans in attendance. “I absolutely enjoyed the warmups and it was one of my favorite games of the year, just seeing the love from the fans that they still have for me, and the cherry on top is the win for us.”

The win was indeed a nice cherry on top for Anaheim, who has struggled after a much better start to the year early on. The team is rocking a 2-2 record so far on their 6-game road trip, and the next stop will take them to Washington D.C. as they battle against the Capitals on Tuesday afternoon. Washington is 20-15-6 on the season as they sit in second to last place in a competitive Metropolitan Division.

The game is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. PT.