SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov had a purpose and an help, Chris Driedger posted his third profession shutout, and the surging Florida Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-Zero on Sunday.
Frank Vatrano and Gustav Forsling additionally scored, and MacKenzie Weegar had two assists because the Panthers received their sixth straight and moved into sole possession of first place within the Central Division.
Driedger, who has earned wins in 4 of his final 5 appearances, stopped all 32 pictures he confronted for his second shutout of the season.
“You understand what … it wasn’t as a lot me because the group effort,” the Panthers’ backup goaltender stated. “We have been unimaginable defensively. I didn’t see quite a bit till the ultimate push on the finish there.”
Driedger has allowed solely six objectives in his final 5 begins.
“Actually, I believe our group is enjoying implausible,” he stated. “It’s been plenty of enjoyable. The fellows have been locking it down defensively.”
Joonas Korpisalo had 32 saves for Columbus, which misplaced its fifth recreation to wrap up the six-game street journey.
“We’re 1-5. I don’t want to elucidate this,” Columbus coach John Tortorella stated. “Tonight we didn’t generate as a lot offense or have as a lot offensive zone time (as Saturday), and that definitely received’t put pucks at the back of the web.”
Vatrano’s unassisted purpose — his 13th — got here eight minutes into the third interval to place Florida forward 2-0, and Forsling capped the scoring on the 12:20 mark.
Enjoying in solely their second recreation again from damage, Barkov and Patric Hornqvist teamed up for Florida’s first purpose at 1:52 of the second interval.
Hornqvist grabbed an tried Columbus clear and fed Barkov on the high of the proper circle. The Panthers’ captain ripped a one-timer that landed high shelf previous Korpisalo for his 14th.
It was the second help in two nights for Hornqvist, who missed 4 video games previous to Saturday’s return.
Barkov, who was out six video games, famous that the group’s efficiency stays constant and being again along with his linemates reinvigorates him.
“It feels nice. You’ll be able to see it in our locker room and on the ice,” he stated. “Everybody enjoys (this success) and everyone seems to be having enjoyable.”
Neither group generated any sustained momentum in the course of the comparatively even first and second intervals that featured a 24-19 shot benefit for Florida after 40 minutes.
“We’re getting primary contributions throughout the board. Our again finish has been actually strong,” Florida coach Joel Quenneville stated. “The goaltending has been very, very constant. Everyone has been sharing a number of the duty of getting the job accomplished.”
Columbus had quite a few alternatives with possession via the impartial zone, however Florida disrupted the Blue Jackets’ site visitors across the web and that proved decisive.
“It stings. We’re getting alternatives; we simply must put them in,” Columbus ahead Nick Foligno stated. “Proper now, we nearly must play an ideal model of recreation. We’re 1-5 proper now at a time after we should be 5-1.”
Barkov handed Olli Jokinen for the second-most even-strength objectives (116) in franchise historical past. He trails solely Jonathan Huberdeau (123) in that class.
Weegar leads all Florida defensemen in even-strength scoring with 22 factors. Weegar and Hornqvist have a mixed 35 assists.
Columbus’ ahead Riley Nash left the sport within the second interval with an obvious lower-body damage. Tortorella gave no replace on his situation after the sport.
The sport was witnessed by 4,069 followers, simply slightly below the 25% capability on the BB&T Middle.
Blue Jackets: Host Tampa Bay on Tuesday evening.
Panthers: At Carolina on Tuesday evening.