Sasha Barkov became the Florida Panthers all-time leading goal scorer but his team lost for the second consecutive night as the host New Jersey Devils scored twice on the power play and rolled to a 7-3 win Tuesday night.
Barkov, who had been tied with Olli Jokinen, scored No. 189 just 24 seconds into the second period to tie the score.
After the game, while Barkov reflected on the momentous occassion, his thoughts were on a second straight loss.
“Right now it’s tough. This loss hurts,’’ Barkov said. “We didn’t show up the way we wanted.’’
Florida went into the period down 2-1 and were down one going into the third as well.
The Devils scored twice in the first 5:13 of the third to extend their lead and hand the Panthers their second consecutive loss following a 10-0-1 start to their season.
The record-setting goal extended Barkov’s point streak to seven games as he has six goals and nine points during that span.
Florida, which lost to the Rangers on Monday night and have played three games in the past four nights, came out a little sloppy even with an early lead thanks to the return of Sam Bennett following a five-game absence.
After the Panthers were held without a shot on a discombobulated power play chance, Bennett put Florida up top by following up his own rebound off a wraparound at 3:53.
New Jersey controlled the rest of the period, outshooting and out-chancing the Panthers before taking a 2-1 lead into the break.
The second goal, which came with 2:15 left in the first, seemed to wake the Panthers up as they finished the period with a much more concerted effort.
That carried over into the second.
Barkov tied the score by scoring on the doorstep off a loose puck before Owen Tippett knocked in a pass from Gus Forsling to make it 3-2 just 1:29 into the period.
The Devils, fresh off a California adventure, were not phased by Florida’s quick strike offense and got one right back.
Less than 30 seconds after Tippett’s goal, Andreas Johnsson drove in and scored for his second of the night.
The Devils took the lead back on P.K. Subban shot through traffic that got past Spencer Knight.
New Jersey would not trail again.
Early in the third, Bennett took a tripping penalty with Pavel Zacha following his own rebound for a two-goal lead.
The Panthers, whose first three-goal deficit this season came Monday night at the Garden, found themselves in a similar hole at 5:13 of the third on a Ty Smith shot which appeared to clip Eetu Luostarinen on its way past Spencer Knight.
The loss was the second straight for Knight who was playing in an NHL back-to-back for the first time in his career.
Knight has made three consecutive starts for the Panthers after taking over for Sergei Bobrovsky in net Thursday night against Washington.
Florida pulled Knight with around four minutes left, put on some heavy pressure but couldn’t get anything past MacKenzie Blackwood — with Jimmy Vesey putting the final dagger in the Panthers with the empty net goal at 16:11.
Blackwood ended with 34 saves.
Florida outshot the Devils 38-31 and had the edge in shot attempts (63-57) as well.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT
1. Andreas Johnsson, New Jersey
2. P.K. Subban, New Jersey
3. Sasha Barkov, Florida
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- WHEN: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- WHERE: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
- TICKETS: CLICK HERE
- TV/STREAMING: Bally Sports Florida
- RADIO: WKIS 99.9-2 FM
- Last season: Did not play