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RECAP: Florida Panthers storm back to top Chicago Blackhawks

Mar 15, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Juho Lammikko (83) battles Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) for the puck during the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Aleksander Barkov scored a go-ahead, short-handed goal with 6:34 left in the third period, leading the Florida Panthers to a 6-3 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night in Sunrise, Fla.

The Panthers trailed 3-1 midway through the second period before producing the game’s final five goals.

At the halfway point of this regular season, the Panthers (19-5-4) are tied for the top point total in the NHL.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Panthers, check out #FlaPanthers rumors, rankings, and news here.

Florida, which has won four consecutive games, also got goals from Owen Tippett, Aaron Ekblad, Gustav Forsling, Carter Verhaeghe and Alex Wennberg. Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau added two assists each. Forsling, Wennberg and Verhaeghe had one assist apiece.

The goals by Verhaeghe and Wennberg were empty-netters.

The tally by Forsling was his first with the Panthers. He also showed toughness by remaining in the game after getting hit on his right knee with a hard-hit puck.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves to earn his sixth straight win, his longest streak as a Panthers goalie.

Patrick Kane, Philipp Kurashev and Brandon Hagel scored for the Blackhawks, who are 0-3-1 against Florida this year.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Blackhawks, check out #NHLBlackhawks rumors, rankings, and news here.

Kevin Lankinen made 30 saves for Chicago.

The teams traded goals in the first period.

Chicago opened the scoring with 10:38 gone as Kane picked up a loose puck and fired a quick-release wrist shot from the left circle.

Florida tied the score with its second-string power-play unit. With just 1:45 remaining in the first, Tippett left his feet to muscle up on a shot that caromed in off two Chicago defensemen.

The Blackhawks took a 3-1 lead midway through the second on goals by Kurashev and Hagel. Kurashev scored off a Mattias Janmark pass with 10:19 gone, and Hagel jammed in a rebound from the doorstep at 13:02.

Florida got its second power-play goal to cut its deficit to 3-2 with 5:02 remaining in the second as Ekblad’s shot from the back of the left circle found an opening.

Related: NHL power rankings – Panthers roar to No. 1 ahead of Stanley Cup playoffs

The Panthers tied the score 3-3 just 62 seconds later as Forsling scored on a similar goal.

Florida, which is now 16-0-2 when tied or leading headed to the third period, got Barkov’s rebound goal to take its first lead of the game.

Verhaeghe’s empty-netter came with 1:44 left in the third. Wennberg’s empty-netter followed 48 seconds later.

–Field Level Media