SUNRISE, Fla. — Erik Gustafsson scored at 2:32 of overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to end an eight-game road losing streak with a 5-4 victory against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Saturday.
Chicago forward Alex DeBrincat had scored with 1.8 seconds left in the third period to make it 4-4.
David Kampf, Patrick Kane and Alexandre Fortin scored for the Blackhawks (9-10-5), who hadn’t won on the road since defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Oct. 20. Cam Ward made 34 saves.
[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Panthers highlights]
Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (8-9-4), who began an eight-game homestand. Jared McCann, Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano scored, and Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists. James Reimer made 36 saves.
The Blackhawks outshot the Panthers 18-4 in the third period when they trailed 4-2.
Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Gustafsson wins it for CHI
“I thought the third period was as desperate as I have seen us,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “It was good to see. It was needed. Clearly, we have to find a way to start that way and play every shift like it’s life or death. Good to see the response in the third, and I’m proud of the guys.
“We found a way to get the puck in the blue paint in the third period, and the net presence was much better. We need that to score goals. If you get to the net and you get pucks to the net, you get rewarded for it.”
For the third consecutive time on its three-game road trip, Chicago trailed by at least two goals after the first period. The Blackhawks were able to overcome it this time after losing 4-2 to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and by the same score to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
Video: CHI@FLA: DeBrincat forces OT with last-second goal
“We dug ourselves a hole in the beginning just like both other games, but luckily we were able to battle back today,” DeBrincat said. “But we can’t do that. We’ve got to start off strong and play with the lead. It’s tough battling back every night. We played good second and third periods, but the other two games it wasn’t enough. I think we got lucky here today.”
Hoffman, who turned 29 on Saturday, had his Panthers-record 17-game point streak end Friday in a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. He made it 1-0 at 5:48 of the first period with his fifth power-play goal of the season when he one-timed Keith Yandle‘s pass in the right face-off circle.
“We played a fairly solid game for the most part,” Hoffman said. “When you don’t play a full 60 minutes in this league, every team has good offensive players and they’ll make you pay for it. That’s kind of what happened here tonight.”
Video: CHI@FLA: Hoffman one-times Yandle’s pass for PPG
McCann made it 2-0 at 13:40 when he came in alone on Ward and beat him with a high backhand.
Chicago tied it in the first 5:34 of the second period. Kampf made it 2-1 at 49 seconds before Kane tied it 2-2 when he redirected Brandon Saad‘s pass in front of the net.
The Panthers regained the lead at 8:08 when Ekblad one-timed Hoffman’s cross-ice pass to make it 3-2. Vatrano made it 4-2 at 11:30 when he redirected Huberdeau’s pass out of the air.
Fortin made it 4-3 with a shorthanded goal at 9:52 of the third period after Florida forward Nick Bjugstad turned the puck over in the Panthers zone.
Video: CHI@FLA: Fortin has puck go off skate for SHG
“The shorthanded goal turned the whole tide,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “You can’t do that. Last man back, you can’t toe drag , you’ve got to make sure that you’re protecting the puck and doing the right things. That’s when the ice became slanted. We gave them a little life, they took the game over. We had lots of opportunities at 4-2 to make it 5-2 and couldn’t get that fifth one.
“There’s some good things, but obviously you want to forget the last 10 minutes of the third period.”
Video: CHI@FLA: Saad feeds Kane for redirection in front
They said it
“It’s tough to score late. They’re bearing down and we’re trying to put pucks to the net. I got pretty lucky there. It snuck through the five-hole.” — Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat
“I don’t think [scoring has] been the problem for us this year, but we can’t be allowing five or six a game. It’s happened too many times. We’ve got to take ownership on that as ourselves, as a group in this room, and learn from it. … It’s unacceptable.” — Panthers forward Mike Hoffman
Need to know
Gustafsson played in his 100th NHL game. … Michael Hutchinson was the backup goalie for the Panthers after being recalled on an emergency basis from Springfield of the American Hockey League on Saturday. He replaced Roberto Luongo, who is day to day with a knee injury sustained against Carolina on Friday. … Florida center Aleksander Barkov led all skaters in ice time with 25:24.
Blackhawks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)
Panthers: Host the New Jersey Devils on Monday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)
Video: Gustafsson finds twine in OT to complete the comeback