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Panthers demolish Blue Jackets, 9-2

Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2022-01-16

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Carter Verhaeghe and Anton Lundell scored two goals each as the Florida Panthers continued to dominate at home, crushing the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-2 on Saturday night in Sunrise, Fla.

The Panthers lead the NHL in goals this season, and they have the best home record in the league (21-3-0). In their past eight games, the Panthers have scored 50 goals, the best stretch for any NHL team since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-1996.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves, improving his record to 19-3-3.

The Panthers, who are on a nine-game points streak at 8-0-1, also got one goal each from Anthony Duclair, MacKenzie Weegar, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sam Bennett and Patric Hornqvist.

Weegar led Florida with a career-high-tying four points, including three assists.

Florida’s record for goals in one game is 10, and Weegar nearly got the Panthers there, but he was stopped on a breakaway with 4:15 left in the third.

Aaron Ekblad also had three assists as 12 Panthers players produced points, including 10 with multiple points.

Columbus, which routed the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 on Thursday night, managed goals by Gustav Nyquist and Boone Jenner. But the Jackets trailed 6-0 before they got on the board, and they lost to Florida for the seventh straight time.

Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins lasted less than 14 minutes, allowing four goals on 15 shots. He was replaced by Joonas Korpisalo as the Panthers chased the opposing goalie for the second time in 24 hours. They did the same thing in a 7-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

It took just 46 seconds for the Panthers to get a 1-0 lead on Saturday, the eighth straight game they have scored first. Verhaeghe scored from the slot on a pass from Weegar.

The Panthers made it 2-0 on a power-play goal just 81 seconds later. After winning a faceoff, Huberdeau dished to Duclair, who scored on a one-timer from the slot.

Weegar scored on a breakaway short-handed goal at 9:27 in the first, giving Florida a 3-0 lead.

Verhaeghe’s second goal chased Merzlikins, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead.

At that point, Panthers fans started chanting: “We Want 10!”

The Panthers nearly obliged.

–Field Level Media

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