Red-hot Vincent Trocheck scored a goal and added an assist and Jaromir Jagr scored the eventual game-winner early in the third period as the Florida Panthers held off the Columbus Blue Jackets for a big 4-3 win Saturday at the BB&T Center.
Shawn Thornton scored his first of the season, and 100th career point, by one-timing Aaron Ekblad’s pass by Joonas Korpisalo to open the scoring 8:22 into the action.
The Blue Jackets countered with a power-play goal from Scott Hartnell and an unassisted marker from Cam Atkinson after a turnover to take a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes.
Florida regained the lead midway through the second period, scoring twice in a 2:22 span to do so.
After Jason Demers loosened the puck along the boards, Trocheck fired from a sharp angle through Korpisalo to notch his fourteen of the campaign.
Marchessault put the Cats ahead on a great individual effort, stealing the puck from defenseman Markus Nutivaara and showing great patience in pulling Korpisalo down before finishing for his thirteenth goal.
After Jared McCann swung and missed, Jagr whacked in a rebound to cap off a nice rush by Trocheck to give the Panthers a two-goal 1:27 into the third. Jakub Kindl picked up the secondary assist on the play.
Columbus cut the deficit back to one 4:50 later when Boone Jenner’s low shot caught the post and beat James Reimer, with the assists going to Brandon Dubinsky and Seth Jones.
Reimer shut the door the rest of the way, finishing with 30 saves to guide the Panthers to win number twenty on the season. Florida’s 1B goaltender has now won three of his last four starts.
This coming week, the Panthers will embark on a four-game road trip tour of the Pacific Division with stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Glendale.
Cuffs & Buttons
- With the win, the Panthers forged a three-way tie with Toronto and Ottawa for third place in the Atlantic. Each team has 48 points, but the Senators and Maple Leafs have played four less games. Florida is just two points behind Philadelphia for a wild card spot.
- Vincent Trocheck collected a goal and an assist for the third time in the last four games. The Cats are 15-2-5 this season when Trocheck gets a point.
- It took Shawn Thornton 674 games to reach the 100-point milestone. The goal was Thornton’s first in 50 games, a span dating back to December 20, 2015.
- A night after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning for his first win in his first NHL start of the year, Joonas Korpisalo went again in place of an ill Sergei Bobrovsky and finished with 28 stops.
- He didn’t register a point, but Jared McCann posted a game-high +3 rating and had three shots on goal. McCann has been a more effective player since returning from Springfield.
- Michael Matheson finished with a game-high four blocks and put two shots on net. Korpisalo robbed the rookie with the glove on one of those opportunites.
- The Cannon will fire off more on the Cats second win over the Blue Jackets.