Zednik Marks Somber Anniversary With Big Night for Panthers

It was one year ago Tuesday that we saw Richard Zednik involved in a horrific accident on the ice. The blade of teammate Olli Jokinen's skate cut Zednik's neck, severing his carotid artery. It was a frightening scene (this video is the least disgusting of the ones I could find, but it could still be disturbing for some of you). Obviously, Zednik is okay now, as he played in his 42nd game of the season Tuesday. While Zednik has tried not to think about last year's scare, it's hard not to notice what he was able to do on the one-year anniversary Tuesday, as the Panthers hosted Toronto.

With Florida trailing Toronto 4-1 in the third period, there wasn't much hope for a comeback. With every game mattering more and more to the Panthers' Eastern Conference playoff chances, this was not one they could afford to give away.

Zednik would make sure that didn't happen. After Nathan Horton and Ville Peltonen scored to cut Toronto's lead to one, Zednik popped in a rebound with less than six minutes left in regulation to tie the score. He then won the game for the Panthers in overtime thanks to a great feed by Cory Stillman.

Video is below.

For the Panthers, this was a huge win in many ways. It marked the first time in franchise history that they had overcome a three-goal deficit to win.

It also keeps the Panthers in the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference. Florida (60 points) has a game in hand on seventh-place Buffalo (62 points) and ninth-place Carolina (59 points). They have two games in hand on tenth-place Pittsburgh (57 points).

Heading into a Thursday faceoff with Carolina, the Panthers stay in great position for a playoff spot. Buoyed by a 14-6-5 home record, Florida continues to throw a monkey wrench in the "trade Jay Bouwmeester" plans by simply winning games.

Zednik Marks Somber Anniversary With Big Night for Panthers originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Wed, 11 Feb 2009 11:40:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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