Comeback Kids: 'Blades Rally to Drop Solar Bears in Overtime
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades picked an ideal time for their biggest comeback win on the road this season.
John McCarron scored off a deflection four minutes, eight seconds into overtime to complete the comeback and give the Everblades a 2-1 series lead in the South Division Finals with a 3-2 win over the Orlando Solar Bears on Tuesday at the Amway Center.
After Jonne Tammela was assessed a five-minute major for kneeing 2:16 into overtime, McCarron deflected in Patrick McCarron's shot from the high slot to send Florida to its second consecutive overtime win of the series.
Orlando jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two goals in the opening period. The Solar Bears took the early lead on a goal off a zone rush. After crossing the 'Blades line, Tammela pulled up at the right-wing boards and waited for an opening to feed Zach Frye at the left side of the crease. He tapped it past Everblades goaltender Callum Booth exactly two minutes into the game.
The Solar Bears extended their lead to two goals at the other end of the opening frame. Hunter Fejes forced a turnover just outside of the 'Blades zone, carried across the line and zipped a shot over Booth's blocker with 3:08 to play in the first.
Following a scoreless second period, Blake Winiecki carried the 'Blades within one on his team-leading seventh goal of the postseason. As he carried the puck into the zone, Winiecki ripped a shot from the slot that clipped the end glass and then ricocheted off Orlando goaltender Connor Ingram into the goal with five minutes, 35 seconds gone in the third period.
Florida found the back of the net again in a hurry to even the score at two. Nathan Perkovich picked up an Orlando turnover at the right side of the net, turned to his forehand at the top of the crease and lifted it over Ingram only 3:39 after Winiecki's goal.
Perkovich's goal eventually forced overtime for the third straight game to start the series. Dating back to the regular season, Florida and Orlando have gone to overtime in six straight head-to-head meetings.
Including the regular season, Florida's win on Tuesday was its second road victory of the season in which it trailed after two periods.
Booth again came up big for the Everblades with 31 saves on 33 shots. He has yet to allow more than two goals in any of his five postseason starts.
Following a day off on Wednesday, the series resumes with Game 4 on Thursday. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Amway Center.
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