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Aaron Ekblad's late OT goal powers Panthers by Stars

por Sonia Beebe (2021-07-04)

Aaron Ekblad scored with 9.3 seconds remaining in overtime to give the visiting Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Ekblad, who had an apparent winning goal taken off the board just 37 seconds earlier when video replay determined he was offside, took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau in the slot and then beat Anton Khudobin with a backhand shot on his blocker side for the game-winner, his 11th goal of the season.

Carter Verhaeghe scored his second career hat trick and also assisted on the winning goal for Florida, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Noel Acciari added two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 30 saves to improve to 15-1-1 all-time against the Stars.

Joel L'Esperance, Denis Gurianov and John Klingberg scored goals and Joel Hanley had two assists for Dallas which fell to 2-9 in games that have been decided after regulation. Khudobin stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced.

Verhaeghe got his first goal just 24 seconds into the game when he picked up a loose puck in the left circle and beat Khudobin with a wrist shot on the short side.

Dallas rebounded to take a 2-1 lead later in the period with two goals in the span of 1:56.

Gurianov tied it when he tapped in Jamie Benn's pass from behind the net from the right doorstep for his sixth goal of the season. Klingberg followed with a one-timer from the top of the left circle that went over Bobrovsky's glove side.

Verhaeghe tied it late in the period with a power-play goal, knocking in a rebound of an Acciari shot inside the right post.

Verhaeghe then completed his hat trick late in the second period with an unassisted short-handed goal, stealing the puck from Miro Heiskanen as he attempted to skate out of his own zone and then firing a wrist shot from the left circle into the far upper corner for his 15th goal of the season.

L'Esperance then tied it, 3-3, at the 3:00 mark of the third period with his first goal of the season and just the fourth of his career, redirecting Hanley's crossing pass in the high slot past Bobrovsky's outstretched left pad.

Florida's Keith Yandle played in his 900th consecutive game, the third longest ironman streak in NHL history and the longest ever by a defenseman.

--Field Level Media