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Florida Panthers third line puts on a show in rout of Blue Jackets



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Sam Reinhart, who recorded the fifth hat trick of his career, carries the puck up the ice past Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke of Parkland during the third period Monday night. — AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

COLUMBUS — It is not very often an NHL team gets the kind of production from a single line as the Florida Panthers received Monday night as two of the three players on their third trio tied separate franchise records.

Surprisingly enough, the guy who got a hat trick was not one of them.

As good as Sam Reinhart was in Florida’s 8-4 win against the host Blue Jackets, it was Mason Marchment and Anton Lundell who stole some of his thunder.

And Reinhart seemed completely fine with it.

It was a night to remember for both Marchment and Lundell, players who tied franchise marks for most overall points and assists in Monday night’s rout at Nationwide Arena.

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The Panthers will visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday night and try to go into their All-Star/winter break on a high note.

”Everything he touched went in the net it seemed,” Reinhart said of Marchment, who had two goals and six points. “I am happy for him. … It’s another quick turnaround and we’ll get back after it. We all feed off each other. We have certainly found some chemistry. It’s a fun way to play.”

Marchment scored the first and final goal of the night — the first 32 seconds in and then 27 seconds into the third.

That final goal gave Marchment six points which tied Olli Jokinen for most in a single game by a player wearing a Florida sweater.

Not impressed?

Marchment is the only player in the NHL to rack up six points in a game this season.

”Oh, that’s awesome,” Marchment said when asked if he knew he hit a franchise milestone. “My linemates were great, finding me when I was open. We really enjoy playing together. We just have to keep it going.”

Lundell got the secondary assist on that final goal and ended with five assists.

The only Florida player to have that many helpers in a single game was Sasha Barkov two years ago against Minnesota.

Lundell did do something Barkov did not as he is the first rookie with five points in franchise history.

This very special NHL freshman campaign rolls along.

As special as a hat trick is, Reinhart already had four of them in his career.

“They put a show on,” Florida coach Andrew Brunette marveled about the way his line produced Monday.

“The puck was just following them around. They were a lot of fun to watch and had some beautiful goals. It’s kind of fun to watch them Globetrotting around. It was a great game from them. I think, at one point, they were plus-five in seven minutes. I haven’t seen anything like it. It was really an unbelievable experience to see the puck follow them around like that.”

All told, the Panthers’ third line of Lundell, Marchment and Reinhart accounted for six goals and 15 points.

Florida’s marquee players — Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau — combined two points, both coming off one power play goal.

And the Panthers went on in what turned out to be an easy victory.

Florida has now won four consecutive games and set a franchise record with 12 victories in a single month.

The Panthers scored nine goals in wins on Dec. 30 (Tampa Bay) and Jan. 15 (Columbus).

Getting eight on Monday night marked the first time the team has ever had three games in which it scored eight or more goals in a single season.

Florida ended the month by scoring 74 goals, which according to research, was more than any NHL team in a single month in the past 25 years.

Yeah, this team is pretty good.

Monday, the Panthers were buzzing from the start, taking the initial lead after Lundell picked off a pass deep in Columbus zone and fed it to Marchment just 32 seconds in.

Three minutes later, Reinhart got his first of the night to make it 2-0.

Unlike the previous matchup against Columbus — one in which the Panthers won 9-2 in Sunrise on Jan. 15 — the Blue Jackets kept up the good fight and scored not long after Reinhart.

Florida scored the next two goals by the end of the first period — Huberdeau connected on a power play pass from Barkov and Reinhart picked up his second — before Patrik Laine got his first of two in the final seconds of the period.

Reinhart recorded his hat trick early in the second to give the Panthers a 5-2 lead.

Only Max Domi and Laine scored to cut the game to a one-goal affair and give the Jackets some life.

It did not last.

Florida closed out the second period with goals from Owen Tippett and MacKenzie Weegar (which came 17 seconds apart) to give the Panthers a 7-4 lead going into the third.

Marchment got his second of the night 27 seconds into the third and that was that.

”It was a crazy game. From the first shift, we came to play and everything went our way,” said Lundell, who now had 32 points which moves him into a tie with Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras for the second-most points among rookies this season.

“We found each other. When one of us got the puck, we knew where to put it. We always had support. It was amazing to play today. It was one night that I’ll always remember.”


1. Mason Marchment, Florida

2. Sam Reinhart, Florida

3. Anton Lundell, Florida



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