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Mile High Cats: Florida Panthers 4, Colorado Avalanche 0

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SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche came into Saturday night’s game tied for fifth in the NHL standings with old friends the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Panthers are now 4-0 against those two teams.

Florida got two power play goals in the first, added a third goal in a dominant second and rolled the Avs to sweep the season series with a 4-0 win.

The Panthers ended up outscoring Vegas and Colorado 20-7 in their four wins against those two since Dec. 23.

On Thursday, Carter Verhaeghe opened the scoring on a power play chance — with Sam Reinhart making it 2-0 on Florida’s second opportunity with the man advantage.

The Panthers outshot the Avs 24-10 in the second but only scored once.

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That came when Eetu Luostarinen dove and buried a rebound.

Captain Sasha Barkov not only snapped his 18-game goal drought, but had a 3-point night as he assisted on Florida’s first two goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves as he picked up his third shutout of the season and 41st of his career.

He is 12-4-2 lifetime against the Avs.

With his 850th win, Paul Maurice moved into fifth place on the NHL all-time list.

— Barkov surpassed the 50-point mark for the ninth consecutive time in his career, tying fellow Florida captain Olli Jokinen (9 from 2002-12) for the second-most consecutive 50-point seasons by a Finnish-born player behind Jari Kurri (10 from 1980-90).

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Panthers 1, Avalanche 0 (10:19, 1st PP): Carter Verhaeghe gets his second power play goal this week as he sweeps a backhanded shot off his own rebound past Alexandar Georgiev.
  • Panthers 2, Avalanche 0 (16:56, 1st PP): Stop if you have heard this before — Sam Reinhart on the power play, in the slot on a pass from Matthew Tkachuk. That’s power play goal No. 14 since that Vegas game on Dec. 23 (and Tkachuk has assisted on 11 of ‘em).
  • Panthers 3, Avalanche 0 (17:52, 2nd): Georgiev was fantastic all night but especially in the second. Still, a big rebound came out to Eetu Luostarinen in the slot, he leapt and got something on the shot and gave the Panthers some breathing room.
  • Panthers 4, Avalanche 0 (10:40, 3rd): Sasha Barkov snapped his 18-game goal drought by taking a backdoor feed from Verhaeghe, working the puck around before settling on going high against the Colorado goalie. Barkov assisted on Florida’s first two goals and now has 22 points in his past 19 games — with one goal.

FHN’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Sasha Barkov, Florida

2. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida

3. Carter Verhaeghe, Florida

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 

  • When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: PPG Arena, Pittsburgh
  • TV/Streaming: TNT/HBO Max
  • 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 Florida: Panthers 3, Penguins 1 (Dec. 8). At Pittsburgh: Panthers 3, Penguins 2 (SO) Jan. 26; Wednesday.
  • Last Season: Penguins won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Penguins lead 56-37-7, 4 ties
  • All-time Playoff Series: Florida d. Pittsburgh 4-3, 1996 Eastern Conference finals
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

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