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Bob’s Town: Florida Panthers 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 0



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SUNRISE — On a night when original Florida TV voice Jeff Rimer was back in the house working one of his final games for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Panthers tried their best at boring him out of retirement.

Although there were some long lulls throughout the game — Matthew Tkachuk scored less than a minute in and Florida’s second goal did not come until there was 2:35 left in the second — the Panthers took care of business and moved closer to the postseason with a 4-0 win.

To make the atmosphere worse, the arena had a fire alarm issue which meant no music during the game or between breaks for a spell.

Fun times in Sunrise.

But, really, fun times for the Panthers.

Boring hockey is their kind of hockey.

Over the past couple of games, Paul Maurice’s bunch are playing exactly the way he wants them to.

With the playoffs just over a week away, so should the fans.

Regardless, Florida toyed with a Columbus team with so many injuries, they looked more like the AHL Cleveland Monsters than the Blue Jackets.

And the Panthers did not appear to lay it on too thick.

With the win, the Panthers won their 50th game for just the second time in franchise history. Both have come in the past two seasons; the 2021-22 Presidents’ Trophy winners won 58 games.

Thursday, Tkachuk scored 47 seconds in and, give credit to Columbus goalie Jet Greaves for holding the fort for the Blue Jackets.

The Panthers went 27 shots between goals, and there was nothing Greaves could have done when Anton Lundell and Evan Rodrigues played catch with the puck — with Rodrigues posting up top d-man Zach Werenski and sweeping the bouncing puck into the net at 17:25 of the second.

Not long after, Sam Reinhart made it 3-0 by scoring his 54th goal of the season by sending a shot from the right circle through traffic and past Greaves.

Sergei Bobrovsky ended with 25 saves for his sixth shutout of the season as he improved to 11-2-1 against the Blue Jackets.

It was also Bobrovsky’s second shutout against his former team, the one he played seven seasons for.

The Panthers have two games left before the playoffs with the Buffalo Sabres coming to town on Saturday evening.


  • Panthers 1, Blue Jackets 0 (0:47, 1st): Oliver Ekman-Larsson springs Matthew Tkachuk on a breakaway and he puts one off Jet Greaves’ shoulder to open things up.
  • Panthers 2, Blue Jackets 0 (17:25, 2nd): Just 27 shots later, the Panthers finally get a second goal past Greaves as Evan Rodrigues sweeps in a loose puck from the goalmouth off a deflected pass from Anton Lundell.
  • Panthers 3, Blue Jackets 0 (19:06, 2nd): Just 1 shot after Rodrigues’ goal, Sam Reinhart gets his 54th of the season. Two more games left in his ‘chase’ for 60.
  • Panthers 4, Blue Jackets 0 (17:43, 3rd): Vladimir Tarasenko got hit with a Gus Forsling shot while in front of the net, pulled the puck back in and backhanded it past Greaves.


1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida

2. Evan Rodrigues, Florida

3. Jet Greaves, Columbus



  • When: Saturday, 5 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports SUN/ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series (Panthers Lead 2-0) — At Buffalo: Panthers 4, Sabres 0 (Feb. 15). At Florida: Panthers 3, Sabres 2 (Feb. 28); Saturday.
  • Last Season: Florida won 3-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 56-45-8, 4 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers — Regular-Season Finale: Tuesday vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.

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