Sillinger, Danforth score in 10 second-span, Columbus wins
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Cole Sillinger and Justin Danforth scored 10 seconds apart in the third period and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Thursday night.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, Gabriel Carlsson, Boone Jenner and Patrik Laine also scored to help Columbus beat the Panthers for the first time in nine games and extending their winning streak to a season-best four games.
Jakub Voracek had two assists, and J-F Berube stopped 39 shots.
Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist for Florida, and Sam Bennett and MacKenzie Weegar also scored, and Aleksander Barvov had two assists.
Jonas Johansson, acquired by the Panthers from the Colorado Avalanche in December, allowed five goals on 27 shots in his Panthers debut.
Florida lost back-to-back games on home ice for only the second time this season. The Panthers lost to Ottawa and Los Angeles at home Dec. 12 and 14th, and had gone 9-0-0 since before falling to Nashville on Tuesday night.
“We just didn’t answer the bell tonight,” Weegar said. “It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows and all that stuff. Losing might be a good thing for our team. We’re going to face adversity at times throughout the year, and this is one of them.”
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Leading 3-2 in the third, the Blue Jackets scored two goals in 10 seconds to stretch their lead to 5-2. Sillinger’s shot from the left circle beat Johansson with 10:13 left made it 4-2, then Danforth’s goal made it 5-2.
“They’re a dangerous team. They can score a lot of goals,” Jenner said. “We just played a little more direct. J-F made some huge saves for us and we were able to capitalize on some chances.”
After the Panthers pulled their goalie with 7:32 to go, Bennett’s goal trimmed the Columbus lead to 5-3 with 6:19 left, but Bjorkstrand scored an empty-net goal with 5:59 left.
The Blue Jackets stretched their lead to 3-1 on Carlsson’s goal. Carlsson’s shot from the left circle went under Johansson’s pads at 3:12 of the third.
“We just played and we didn’t let anything rattle us,” coach Brad Larsen said. “To me that was the difference. Tonight we were aggressive. I liked how we played. This is something we’ve got to continue to do.”
Huberdeau closed the score to 3-2 when he grabbed a loose puck in the slot and beat Berube at 6:52.
“We need more energy. I thought we looked a little tired today,” Huberdeau said.
Jenner put Columbus ahead 2-1 at 9:32 of the second. Jenner re-directed a shot by Vladislov Gavrikov into the net for his team-leading 22nd goal of the season.
Weegar gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead when he took a cross-ice pass from Aleksander Barkov and poked in the puck from the left side at 8:33 of the first.
Laine tied it when his shot from the lower-right circle went past Johansson with 4:55 left in the first. The goal was Laine’s 13th in 11 games.
NOTES: Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski has an upper-body injury and didn’t make the trip for back-to-back games against Florida and Carolina…Gavrikov’s assist on the Jenner goal was his 21st and 23rd point, both career-highs … Florida’s second goal of the night was its 50th against Columbus in the last two seasons. It marked the first time the Panthers scored 50 goals against one opponent over a two-year span since they scored 56 against Tampa Bay in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. … It was the start of a three-game, four-night stretch against some of the East’s top teams for the Blue Jackets, who visit Carolina on Friday and host Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Blue Jackets: At Carolina on Friday night.
Panthers: Host Edmonton on Saturday night.