Aleksander Barkov is on a heater. The 26-year-old captain just put on a clinic in the Panthers’ 3-2 OT win over the Islanders. Barkov scored every Panthers’ goal in the game.
The Islanders started the scoring with a goal in the early 2nd period. Then, Barkov answered with his first goal of the game about ten minutes later on the power play.
He bailed the Panthers out in the second and he did it again in the third. The Islanders grabbed the lead back at 1:01 into the final frame. Barkov had to wait a while to get his team even. At 16:02, Barkov collected his 36th goal of the season with this perfect shot:
Now the Panthers have things tied up 2-2 in the dying four minutes but neither side can finish the job in regulation. So onto OT we go.
Barkov had to wait a while the first two times to get his goal. His first goal was ten minutes after the Islanders opener, his second was fifteen minutes later. This is overtime though with an impressive win streak in the ballance, there is no time to wait.
With that in mind, Barkov raced off and ended this OT in just twenty seconds:
Of course this isn’t a one man show. Barkov doesn’t score those goals without the help of his buddies Jonathan Huberdeau, Claude Giroux, Radko Gudas, and Gustav Forsling. Giroux, Gudas, and Forsling all had one assist on the night.
Huberdeau collected 3 assists himself, bringing his total assists this season to 80. He is just the 5th player in the last 20 years to get 80 assists in a season. Not to mention, all of those assists bring his season points total to 111 – which is top of the NHL. From where we are standing right now, Huberdeau is first in the Art Ross Trophy race. This Panthers team just knows how to play. They lit up Ilya Sorokin, goalie of the Islanders, with 42 shots, 39 of which he stopped. They’re now 55-15-6 on the season with no sign of slowing down. They’re sitting second in the NHL to Colorado, they’ve already punched their playoff ticket. Things are looking good for the Florida Panthers.
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Featured Image: Florida Panthers' Twitter