Preds blow late lead, best Panthers in shootout

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Nashville, TN ( - Filip Forsberg scored in the fourth round of the shootout to prevent an epic collapse from the Nashville Predators, who pulled out a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers.

The Predators held a comfortable 2-0 lead before Florida scored twice in the final minute of regulation, with Nick Bjugstad forcing overtime with 30.3 seconds left in the third period.

Rocco Grimaldi potted his first career NHL goal just 12 seconds earlier for the Panthers, who received an outstanding 48-save effort from Roberto Luongo that helped Florida steal a point.

"It's fun and it felt like the crowd was on top of us," said Luongo. "This was one of those games that makes it all worth it."

Colin Wilson and Matt Cullen both scored in Nashville's sixth victory in its last eight outings, with Pekka Rinne stopping 28 shots.

"I was excited to have the shutout going and I wanted to hang on to that," said Rinne. "They got those two quick, though, and I haven't seen that too often. Glad I was able to hold on and help us get the two points."

Rinne was on the verge of his second shutout of the season before the Panthers came alive in crunch time, with Grimaldi getting Florida on the board with 42.6 seconds on the final clock. The North Dakota product got to a puck that had caromed to him after being thrown towards the Nashville net by teammate Brian Campbell, then promptly rifled it home.

The re-energized Panthers then capitalized on a miscue by Rinne, who played the puck behind his own net but had his clearing attempt intercepted by Jimmy Hayes and sent to Bjugstad for a quick shot that landed inside the partially vacated net.

Luongo made five saves in overtime to bring on the shootout, in which the first three skaters on each side were unsuccessful prior to Forsberg breaking the stalemate. Rinne then turned aside Brad Boyes' try to give Nashville the tougher-than-expected win.

The Predators couldn't get one past Luongo despite owning a 14-4 shot advantage in the first period, but finally connected late in the second when Wilson's attempted pass from behind the net hit a Florida player and squirted through Luongo's pads.

Cullen put Nashville up 2-0 with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation, skating towards the net to place a perfect pass from Derek Roy past Luongo.

Game Notes

The Panthers haven't won in Nashville since Dec. 11, 1999, having lost seven times with two ties in nine games following that result ... Luongo made 18 saves in the second period ... The Predators improved to 7-1-1 at home this season ... Florida concluded a four-game road trip at 2-1-1.