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National Hockey League
Florida 7, Nashville 4
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen: Ryan Daisy, Kory Nagy
Attendance: N/A

The Florida Panthers rallied from a third-period deficit to beat the host Nashville Predators 7-4 and clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs on Tuesday night.

The Panthers (32-14-5, 69 points) came into the third period trailing Nashville (27-22-2, 56 points) by a goal but scored four goals in the final period with Jonathan Huberdeau getting two of them.

Florida outshot Nashville 55-30 to get a measure of revenge against the Predators, who prevented the Panthers from clinching their playoff appearance with a 4-1 win on Monday.

Nashville is trying to hold off Dallas for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the Central Division, currently holding a two-point lead over the Stars. Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay have all clinched.

The Predators got the scoring going early, getting a goal from a long Ryan Ellis shot at 6:07 of the first period. Ellis later gave Nashville a 4-3 lead with 22.9 seconds left in the second.

After Ellis' first goal, the Panthers took aim at goalie Juuse Saros. Florida ended up outshooting Nashville 20-8 in the opening period and had a 42-21 advantage after two.

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov scored two goals, his first a power-play goal that tied the score at 1-1 at 8:28 of the first. He later tied it at 3-3 with a wrist shot at 17:32 of the second.

Florida took its first lead on a power-play goal by Anthony Duclair at 2:56 of the second. Nashville then got the next two goals in the period from Luke Kunin (6:50) and Tanner Jeannot (12:40).

The Panthers tied the score again five minutes into the third period when Owen Tippett banged a loose puck past Saros on Florida's 47th shot on goal of the night.

Frank Vatrano gave Florida the lead for good at 7:15 of the third when he one-timed a pass from Alex Wennberg.

Huberdeau then tacked on his two goals as the Panthers tied a franchise record with 55 shots on goal. He ended with five points in the game.

Before the third period started, Florida replaced starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (17 saves on 21 shots) with rookie Spencer Knight, the former Boston College star who led Team USA to Gold at World Juniors.

Knight, who made his NHL debut last week against Columbus, ended up making nine saves in his first relief appearance. He is now 2-0 in his young NHL career.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Florida   Nashville
Jonathan Huberdeau 5 Points Ryan Ellis 2
Jonathan Huberdeau 2 Goals Ryan Ellis 2
Jonathan Huberdeau 3 Assists Nick Cousins 1
Jonathan Huberdeau 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Spencer Knight 1.000 Save Percentage Juuse Saros .891
Sergei Bobrovsky 17 Saves Juuse Saros 49
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 55 7 3-5 2-2 4 36
Nashville 30 4 0-2 2-5 10 29
Upcoming Games
  • Nashville will play their next game at home against Dallas. The Predators have a W/L % of .519 after a win and .522 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game on the road against Chicago. The Panthers have a W/L % of .548 after a win and .750 after a loss.