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Blackhawks rally late for 5-4 overtime win against Panthers

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Chicago comes back from two separate two-goal deficits to end an eight-game road skid.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Washington Capitals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Erik Gustafsson scored 2:32 into overtime to lift the Blackhawks to a 5-4 win over the Panthers to snap an eight-game road losing streak Saturday at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

It is the Blackhawks’ first road win since Oct. 20, when they beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 in Columbus.

Alex DeBrincat sent the game to overtime when he scored with 0.8 seconds left in the third period.

David Kampf and Patrick Kane each had a goal and an assist, while Brandon Saad and Gustav Forsling each had two helpers. Rookie Alexandre Fortin also scored and Cam Ward made 34 saves in net to improve to 4-2-4 this season.

The Blackhawks opened the game with pressure early, despite going down two goals. Ward kept the team in it, while Kampf cut the lead in half just under a minute into the second period.

Just minutes after Kampf’s tally, Kane deflected a pass by Saad under the crossbar for his 13th goal of the season to tie it 2-2.

Florida roared back to score two more; with Aaron Ekblad’s blast off Mike Hoffman’s cross-ice pass, and a tip-in by Frank Vatrano in front made it a two-goal game again. But after Nick Bjugstad’s defensive zone miscue, Fortin raced in and scored a shorthanded goal to cut the deficit to 4-3.

The third period saw one unlucky crossbar and a ridiculous amount of Blackhawks shots — the shots on goal were 13-1 in Chicago’s favor through 12 minutes, with Florida goaltender James Reimer coming up big on multiple occasions.

But the Blackhawks came through late. With 0.8 seconds left in the third, DeBrincat threw the puck on net, and it ended up sliding through Reimer’s pads and into the back of the net, sending the contest to overtime.

With less than three minutes left to play in overtime, Kampf won an offensive zone face off, throwing the puck back for Nick Schmaltz to tip over to Gustafsson, who knocked in the game-winner top shelf.

Entering Saturday night’s game, Florida’s power play was tied for third in the league at 25.3 percent, while the Blackhawks’ was ranked 30th overall, a mere 13 percent. The Panthers went 1 for 3 on their power play chances, and the Blackhawks walked away empty on the man advantage. Despite the failure to score, the power play looked as strong as it’s been this season.

Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton used his superstars heavily, with Kane logging 24:25 minutes of ice time, and Jonathan Toews leading all forwards with 24:55 minutes. Only Duncan Keith (25:06) had more and Brent Seabrook followed (22:53).

The Blackhawks return to Chicago to host the Golden Knights on Tuesday. Chicago is the only NHL team to not record a point against Vegas.