In Saturday’s game against Nashville, the Florida Panthers sought revenge after a devastating loss earlier in the week. Although it took 49 shots, goaltender Chris Driedger remained perfect on the night to edge out a win for Florida.
In 2021, Florida versus Nashville games has been a scoring-festival every game. Before Saturday, the Panthers have outscored the Predators 19-15 in five hard-fought games. This time around, it was a battle of the backstops for both sides. Although Driedger secured the win, Predators goalie Juuse Saros was exceptional for the Predators, recording 47 saves, which ties his career-high.
The Panthers were able to find a way to get through the brick wall. Aleksander Barkov continued his fabulous month with the go-ahead goal, which was a beautiful backhanded shot that went bar down. Barkov has been phenomenal in March. Through 10 games, he has six goals, nine assists, a +8 +/-, and 42 SOG. With Anthony Duclair’s open-net goal, the Florida Panthers secured their 20th win of the season with a final score of 2-0.
“If we’re playing like this, it’s going to be hard to beat us,” Patric Hornqvist said.
Star of the Game: G Chris Driedger (0 GA, 1.000 SV %)
Notching 21 saves, Driedger was able to secure Florida’s first shutout victory of 2021. This was Driedger’s first game between the pipes since March 7th against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Having not played for a little bit, it’s just nice to get back and have a solid effort in front of me. I was just trying to stay sharp and keep the puck out of the net,” Driedger said.
The backup goalie for Florida has been phenomenal through this season. Driedger currently sits at 2.22 GAA (12th in the NHL) with a .924 SV% (sixth in the NHL). Although Bobrovsky has been proving his worth as the starter, Driedger is a very close second that is well in the fight for the starting role.