National Hockey League
Florida 5, Columbus 4
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 11, 2021
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Referees: Jake Brenk, Dean Morton
Linesmen: Tyson Baker, Vaughan Rody
Attendance: 3739

Frank Vatrano's rebound goal completed Florida's wild comeback as the Panthers earned a 5-4 overtime win over the host Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Aaron Ekblad sent a puck up the boards in overtime, leading to a two-on-one rush led by Jonathan Huberdeau. His shot in close ricocheted over to Vatrano, who notched his ninth goal and second overtime winner this season. Vatrano was playing in his 300th career game.

Ryan Lomberg potted his first NHL goal, and Patric Hornqvist, Owen Tippett and Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida, which finished 4-1-0 on its five-game road trip. The Panthers scored the final four goals of the game, including three unanswered markers in the third period to force the extra session.

Fourteen Panthers scored points, and the club recorded its 12th comeback win.

After a season-high 38-save showing in Tuesday's 4-2 win, Sergei Bobrovsky returned against his former club and recorded 28 saves on 32 shots to win his fourth straight start.

Oliver Bjorkstrand notched two goals and an assist, and Max Domi and Patrik Laine recorded a goal and an assist -- the Finnish winger breaking his seven-game streak without a point -- but Columbus fell to 2-6-2 in its last 10. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 27 of 32 shots in his first start in nine games.

Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (birth of child) was out of the lineup for the first time this season, and Dean Kukan drew in and played for the first time since Feb. 15.

With a Florida defenseman pinching on the offensive zone in the second period, Domi led a two-on-one breakout for the home side, patiently held the puck on the left side and fed Bjorkstrand for his ninth goal over a sliding Bobrovsky for a 1-0 lead at the six-minute mark.

Slotted up to Columbus' top line to play center, Riley Nash skated behind Bobrovsky's cage and slipped a pass out front to Bjorkstrand, who popped in his second marker from the right circle at 10:14.

The Panthers created good offensive zone time late in the period, and Hornqvist deflected in a shot by Gustav Forsling to cut the deficit in half at 16:50.

Just 80 seconds apart in the third, Laine scored on his team's third power play and Domi slid in a puck on a rush at 4:43 for a 4-1 edge -- though Laine sat on the bench much of the period.

Florida rallied when Lomberg batted in his first goal, Tippett ripped a wrister to make it 4-3 and Barkov one-timed a power-play tally at 14:26 as the visitors tied it with three goals in 7:52 of game time.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Florida   Columbus
Jonathan Huberdeau 2 Points Oliver Bjorkstrand 3
Aleksander Barkov 1 Goals Oliver Bjorkstrand 2
Jonathan Huberdeau 2 Assists Oliver Bjorkstrand 1
Aleksander Barkov 1 Power Play Goals Patrik Laine 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Sergei Bobrovsky .875 Save Percentage Elvis Merzlikins .844
Sergei Bobrovsky 28 Saves Elvis Merzlikins 27
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 32 5 1-3 2-3 6 33
Columbus 32 4 1-3 2-3 6 17
Upcoming Games
  • Columbus will play their next game at home against Dallas. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .300 after a win and .412 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game at home against Chicago. The Panthers have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .900 after a loss.