GREENVILLE, S.C. — Four different players scored a goal in regulation and Nathan Perkovich tallied the only shootout score to lift the Florida Everblades to a 5-4 shootout win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on Saturday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
In the final contest of a stretch of three games in three nights, Florida (21-6-5-0, 47 pts.) overcame two separate one-goal deficits to top Greenville (12-18-3-2, 29 pts.) in a shootout for the second straight night and earn all six possible points in the three-game weekend.
Florida took advantage of an early barrage of penalties against Greenville, scoring on a five-on-three power play just 3:42 into the game to grab a 1-0 lead. Off a great passing sequence that saw the puck touch four different players' sticks, Matt Finn was the final one to possess it, roofing a shot from the slot past Greenville goaltender Chris Nell.
Greenville scored the next two goals of the game to take its first lead of the night. Chris Izmirlian let a shot go from the right point that deflected past Florida goaltender Jamie Phillips to tie the game at the 8:12 mark of the opening period.
Only 41 seconds into the second period the Swamp Rabbits took their first lead of the night. After Phillips made the save on Dan Milan’s initial attempt from the high slot, Dylan Vander Esch located the rebound at the side of the net and shoveled it past an outstretched Phillips to make it 2-1.
In a period that saw the ‘Blades outshoot Greenville by 10, Florida finally responded to tie the game in the final 90 seconds of the middle stanza. Justin Auger started the scoring sequence with a backhand shot from the edge of the right circle. Nell made the first save, but Blake Winiecki picked up the puck behind the net and beat Nell to the far post with a wraparound with one minute, 29 seconds left on the clock in the frame.
But Greenville managed to wrestle the lead back just 18 seconds later to take a lead into the second intermission. Austen Brassard got a piece of Chad Duchesne’s shot from the high slot to give the Swamp Rabbits a 3-2 advantage.
Florida again found an answer to tie the game, striking on the penalty kill to make it a 3-3 contest in the early stages of the third. Defenseman Justin Wade made a diving play to get the puck out of the zone and found Kyle Platzer. After crossing into the zone, Platzer dished to Joe Cox in the left circle, and Cox lifted a backhand shot over Nell at the 3:12 mark of the third.
The ‘Blades then surged ahead on Tommy Thompson’s seventh goal of the season. Following a faceoff win in the offensive zone, Thompson ripped a shot through traffic with 9:33 left in regulation.
Thomas Ebbing evened the score at four with a power-play goal in the final three minutes of regulation. That tally eventually forced overtime.
Florida killed off a minor penalty to start overtime to set the stage for the 1-0 victory in the shootout.
Phillips made 24 saves to earn his 13th win of the season.
Florida fired a season-high 60 shots on goal in the win.
Florida starts a six-game homestand with a three-game set against the Atlanta Gladiators this coming week. That series gets underway with a 7:30 p.m. matchup on Wednesday at Hertz Arena.
Single-game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale now!Ticket packages for the 2018-19 season are still on sale! Become part of the Everblades Family with a Partial Season or a Flexible Voucher Package that fits your schedule and budget! All Ticket & Voucher Packages provide savings and special benefits! To view the Ticket & Voucher Package options CLICK HERE.SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase a new ticket package for the 2018-19 season and receive a $20 gift card to Ford’s Garage and an Everblades T-Shirt!Private Arena Tours are also available to select your 2018-19 season seats! Call the Everblades office at 239-948-7825 to schedule your tour today!
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes