ORLANDO, Fla. — Nathan Perkovich recorded two goals and the Florida Everblades scored three times on special teams, including twice on the power play, to earn a 4-2 win over the Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday night at the Amway Center.
On the heels of consecutive losses to Orlando (31-20-4-0, 66 pts.), the Everblades (38-15-5-0, 81 pts.) scored the final three goals of the game in the final contest of three straight between the two teams.
Florida quickly set the tone in the opening frame with a goal less than four minutes into the game. After missing the first two games of the week, Kyle Platzer immediately made an impact by setting up Nathan Perkovich in the left circle. Perkovich promptly snapped a shot upstairs over the blocker of Orlando goaltender Corbin Boes to provide the 1-0 lead.
Orlando tied the score on a goal by former Everblades forward Mathieu Foget with five minutes, 14 seconds left in the first. Foget tracked down Trevor Olson’s initial shot at the side of the net and pushed it past Florida netminder Jeremy Helvig.
The Solar Bears grabbed their first lead on the power play in the early stages of the second period. Troy Bourke fed Brent Pedersen at the inside edge of the left circle, and Pedersen slapped the feed over the glove of Helvig at the 4:19 mark of the second.
But Florida responded on a power play of its own to tie the game at two. Michael Neville possessed the puck behind the goal line at the side of the net and found Blake Winiecki at the top of the crease. Winiecki had his initial shot blocked but got it back and fired it past the glove hand of Boes at the 9:59 mark of the second.
The ‘Blades then scored shorthanded to surge ahead, 3-2. Off a three-on-one rush into the offensive zone, Derek Sheppard ripped a shot from the left wing through the legs of Boes with five minutes, 45 seconds to play in the middle frame.
Perkovich then provided the final goal of the night only 1:08 into the third period. With Florida on its second power play of the night, Perkovich got a piece of Sheppard’s initial shot from the high slot to deflect it past Boes. Perkovich’s two-goal game was his second of the season.
Helvig turned in a 20-save effort to grab his 19th win of the season.
Thanks to the 2-for-5 effort on the power play, Florida is now 8-for-25 on the man advantage in the last five games against Orlando.
Florida finishes off a four-game week with a Sunday matinee against the Jacksonville Icemen. Faceoff is slated for 3 p.m.
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The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes