Panthers squander 3-goal lead, rally to beat Avs 5-4

Panthers squander 3-goal lead, rally to beat Avs 5-4

DENVER (AP) – Matthew Tkachuk scored his second goal of the game with 3:30 left and the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period on Tuesday in the evening.

Tkachuk continued to slide the puck downfield on a power play until defenseman Cale Makar finally pushed him to the side. But the puck went in off the skate of Avalanche forward Evan Rodrigues.

“It’s what it’s made for, isn’t it?” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said of Tkachuk in the closing moments of the game. “He doesn’t mind going to the net. Finally, this is what happens. They’re not the good guys at the time.”

Aleksander Barkov, Brandon Montour and Sam Bennett all scored in the first period to give the Panthers a quick 3-0 lead. Tkachuk added another goal in the second.

“He’s scored big goals for us all year and there’s only one more,” Bennett said of Tkachuk.

Trailing 4-1 midway through the third, Colorado got goals from Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon just 20 seconds apart. JT Compher tied it with 7:53 remaining, moments after the Avalanche had a goal disallowed on a successful Panthers offside challenge.

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