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Florida Panthers Keep Rolling; Cousins, Tkachuk Shine in Win



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Florida Panthers forward Nick Cousins battles Jack Hughes for the puck in a game where he scored twice in. Florida beat the Devils in Newark on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Nick Cousins has not scored many goals for the Florida Panthers, but he does, they are usually big ones. 

Cousins came through on Tuesday night, scoring twice to help the Panthers beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3.

Cousins opened up the scoring 2:54 into the game after bursting into the offensive zone off of a feed by Matthew Tkachuk and beating Akira Schmid with a quick backhand shot.

Early in the third period, Cousins barreled into the slot and deflected a Gus Forsling shot past Schmid for what ended up being the game-winning goal.

Of Cousins’s five goals this season, two opened the scoring, one tied a game in the final minute of regulation, and two were game-winners.

That’s not to mention his series-clincher in overtime of Game 5 against Toronto last year.

“I was just on the right side of some good plays,” Cousins said.

“I thought Tkachuk made a good play on the first goal to kind of break me free there in the first period. The second one was just kind of lucky. I just went to the net, we kind of drew that play up before the face-off, and I was fortunate to get the stick on it.”

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Cousins has settled into a role on Tkachuk’s left flank alongside Sam Bennett and has been strong in winning puck battles along the boards and getting the puck to the two stars on his line.

He has shown he also has the hands to keep up with them.

Tkachuk has no qualms finding Cousins, either.

After finishing the night with three assists, Tkachuk has 16 goals and 49 points in his past 30 games.

That comes after starting the season with just five goals and 22 points in his first 32.

“It doesn’t matter what you do individually,” Tkachuk told Bally Sports Florida’s Katie Engleson about his recent success. 

“This is about one thing, and we know exactly what that is.

“It’s a collective achievement, and you can’t get there by one person alone. We are so committed to that, we could not care less what happens to ourselves individually; it’s all about that one goal.”

And the Panthers did get production across the board as they improved to 5-0-1 in games on the back half of a back-to-back.

A Florida team fresh off of a grind of a win against an elite New York Rangers team had goals from Cousins, third-liner Evan Rodrigues (on the second power-play unit), and leading goal-scorer Sam Reinhart, who finished things off with an empty-netter.

The Panthers picked up their sixth straight win and 16th in the past 18 games.

“We have a game plan each and every night and guys go out there and execute,” Cousins said. “It’s been a lot of fun coming to the rink. Everybody’s pulling on the same rope and we have four lines contributing each night.

“It’s different guys every night. When you do that, you have success. So that’s been a lot of fun, and we have to make sure we keep it going heading into the playoffs.”



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, 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 — At Florida: Flyers 2, Panthers 1 (Feb 6); Thursday. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last Season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Calgary, 4 p.m.

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