SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers restored order on Thursday night, scoring three goals in the second period in a 4-1 rout of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Florida had been smarting after a rare blowout against them occurred in Newark last Tuesday night when the up-and-coming Devils won a 7-3 laugher against the NHL’s top team.
The Panthers looked that part on Thursday.
Florida, which has won its first nine home games of this season, looked a little lethargic in the opening period, the Panthers play looking much like the dreary weather outdoor.
Down 1-0 after former Carolina Hurricane Dougie Hamilton scored against the Panthers (again), the Panthers got the last laugh in the first when Carter Verhaeghe scored with 6.4 seconds remaining.
Florida was outplayed in the first as New Jersey dominated the time of possession and outshot the Panthers 22-13.
The Panthers seemed to be trying to find their footing without Sasha Barkov.
They found it in the second.
Florida appeared to have the puck for the entirety of the period, outshooting the Devils 20-10 and chasing goalie MacKenzie Blackwood with three goals on 14 of those shots.
The Panthers took their game to a gear the Devils really did not see that night in Newark.
Early in the second, Eetu Luostarinen got his sixth goal of the young season by sweeping in a shot from Patric Hornqvist.
Just over a minute later, Jonathan Huberdeau picked up a pass from Anthony Duclair and walked in on Blackwood, putting one top corner.
The Devils challenged the goal claiming Huberdeau was offside (as it appeared he was) although the league ruled Huberdeau had possession of the puck as he rolled across the line and Florida had a 3-1 lead.
Florida closed out the scoring in the second at 8:15 of the period when Duclair drove in after getting the puck from Huberdeau off the half wall, duking out Blackwood and scoring.
Blackwood was done after that one.
Spencer Knight, however, was just getting started.
The Florida rookie had not played since he gave up six goals in the loss to the Devils and he looked strong throughout the night.
There was no blame in the Hamilton goal as that shot would have beaten just about any goalie in the league. It was a beaut.
In all, Knight made 45 saves as he snapped his personal two-game losing streak.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT
1. Spencer Knight, Florida
2. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida
3. Anthony Duclair, Florida
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
MINNESOTA WILD AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- WHEN: Saturday, 6 p.m.
- WHERE: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TICKETS: CLICK HERE
- TV/STREAMING: Bally Sports Florida
- RADIO: WQAM 560
- Last season: Did not play