Sergei Bobrovsky came to play against old team on Tuesday, stopping 38 of 40 shots, including all 16 in the first period, as the Florida Panthers rebounded from a disappointing loss in Raleigh with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bobrovsky stones Atkinson on a shorthanded breakaway.— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) March 10, 2021
Huge pad stop on the NHL's leader in shortys this season. pic.twitter.com/fPhPF0pYq0
Juho Lammikko staked the Panthers to an early lead when he flung a backhander from a bad angle between Joonas Korpisalo legs after taking a pass from MacKenzie Weegar and bursting into the Blue Jackets zone with speed.
Juho Lammikko shields and finds twine with a backhander! ️— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) March 10, 2021
1 #FLAvsCBJ 0 #FlaPanthers #OneTerritory #NHL
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The Cats added on at 2:45 of the second period with Kevin Stenlund off for hooking. After taking a crossing pass from Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad’s slapper from just above the right circle deflected in off of Patric Hornqvist, giving the grizzled screener extraordinaire his tenth of the season.
B-B-B-Boom!— FOX Sports Panthers (@FOXPanthers) March 10, 2021
Aaron Ekblad lets one fly from the point and Patric Hornqvist deflects it in!
2 #FLAvsCBJ 0 #FlaPanthers #OneTerritory #NHL
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Columbus answered three minutes later when trailer Michael Del Zotto finished off a pretty backhand dish from Eric Robinson, beating Bobrovksy along the ice. Alexandre Texier collected the secondary assist with nice strike that allowed Robinson to gain the blue line.
Owen Tippett established some personal marks when he picked his spot and placed a wrist shot just inside the far post with 1:48 left in the frame with the helpers going to Gustav Forsling and Alex Wennberg. The goal was Tippett first-ever on the power-play and later turned into his first NHL game-winner, and also established a new career-high (albeit a very modest one) for the 22-year-old.
Oliver Bjorkstand pulled on back for the Blue Jackets 11:48 into the third when he redirected Zach Werenski’s pass by a helpless Bobrovsky after a ghastly turnover by Huberdeau.
Bobrovsky closed the door the rest of the way, stopping 14 of 15 shots in the final frame, and Carter Verhaeghe chased down a Weegar dump out and fended off Max Domi to ice the cake with an empty-netter with 23 ticks left on the clock.
For the eighth time in nine tries (8-0-1), the Panthers followed up a loss with a victory and opened up a bigger gap on Chicago, Columbus and Nashville. Florida and Winnipeg are the only teams this season that have not lost consecutive games in regulation. Hats off to both goaltenders - Korpisalo finished with 29 stops - who made some dazzling saves to keep this from being a much higher scoring affair. The Cats got goals from up and down the lineup, which was good to see, and nine different players recorded at least a point. The Panthers won 31 of 52 faceoffs (60%) and out-hit the Blue Jackets 26-20. Still a lot of season left, but another head to head win over the Blue Jackets on Thursday would really put Columbus in Florida’s rearview mirror.
Cuffs & Buttons
- Sergei Bobrovsky stopped a season-high 38 shots (.950 save percentage) in this one. The 38 saves are his most in a game since he stopped 44 in Columbus on February 4, 2020. Bob improved to 4-0-1 in his past five starts.
- The Panthers (9-2-1 on the road) earned their first regulation victory in Columbus since November 21, 2007. The Cats are now 2-0-1 at Nationwide Arena this season.
- Patric Hornqvist tallied his team-leading sixth power-play goal. His 10 goals on the season are tied for the team lead with Jonathan Huberdeau, Huberdeau’s assist on the goal extended his point streak (2G/4A) to four games.
- Aaron Ekblad notched his 150th NHL helper, tying Jay Bouwmeester for third-most by a Panthers defenseman in franchise history.
- Blue Jackets forward Jack Roslovic played in his 200th NHL game.
- In addition to bagging his second goal, Owen Tippett led Florida with five hits.
- Gustav Forsling assist on Tippett’s goal was his first point as a Panther.
- MacKenzie Weegar tied his career high (11) for assists in a season. He has recorded three points (1G/2A) in his past two games.
- For the other side of Florida 16th win, fire off The Cannon.