SUNRISE — Sergei Bobrovsky hit a nice milestone with the Florida Panthers on Thursday night as he won his 350th NHL game becoming just the 25th goalie to ever hit the mark.
Although Bobrovsky said he was very happy with the achievement, he was just happy his team got another win as it tries to climb into a playoff spot.
“It’s definitely great,’’ Bobrovsky said. “As I’ve said earlier, I’ve been fortunate to play with great teammates, coached by great coaches.”
Bobrovsky has definitely been helping the Panthers get to where they are trying to get — going 4-0-1 since Jan. 14 with a .936/2.17.
His save percentage ranks third among goaltenders over that span.
Thursday’s win was definitely not an easy one as the Panthers had a 2-1 lead when Aaron Ekblad got hit with a four-minute high-sticking penalty.
Florida not only killed it off, but ended up getting a pair of Eric Staal goals to pull out a nice win.
“It was a good game. They came out fast. I thought we defended very well,’’ Bobrovsky said. “We made timely blocked shots, our sticks were good. Especially the PK in the end I thought the guys did a great job in front of me to clean the puck out, and we scored two big goals. It’s an exciting time to play hockey. We trust in each other and we keep working.”
Bobrovsky can continue to move up the NHL ranks — and the Panthers would certainly love to see that happen in the final two months — as it appears Carey Price is in range for 21st with 361 wins.
Florida is now a point back of Pittsburgh for the final playoff spot (but the Penguins have played four fewer games) and two behind Washington for the first. The Panthers have played one more game than the Caps.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The Panthers started their first winning streak of the season with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Eetu Luostarinen did a lot of the heavy-lifting as Florida killed off a four-minute penalty to close out the game.
Sam Reinhart gave the Panthers the lead with his third two-goal game of the season.
Although the Panthers scored four goals, it was their tough defense when it mattered most which got them this win.
Paul Maurice has been talking about his team grinding hard-nosed games out all season — and Thursday night, they did just that.
- Bobrovsky has carried a heavy load down the stretch in playoff runs before and he sounds ready to do it again with the Florida Panthers.
- Ekblad was selected to play at his hometown All-Star Game last weekend and perhaps that was for the best. Ekblad has been playing through a number of injuries this season with the Panthers and the rest may have been just what he needed.
- We get the NHL wants to try and put an outdoor game in Tampa — but they would probably be better off letting the Panthers host it at Marlins Park.
- Postgame video from Thursday night’s win against the Sharks from Maurice, Luostarinen, Bobrovsky and Reinhart is now up on the FHN YouTube Channel.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The New York Rangers sent shockwaves through the NHL on Thursday by acquiring St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko.
Is it time for the league-leading Boston Bruins to counter with a move of their own?
- Anthony Beauvillier got his revenge on the New York Islanders with the game-winning goal in his first game on Long Island since getting traded for Bo Horvat.
- The Colorado Avalanche will be without star defenseman Cale Makar when they take on the Panthers on Saturday.
- After a couple seasons of bumpy roads, San Jose Sharks star defenseman Erik Karlsson is back in prime form. He added an assist on their lone goal against the Panthers last night.
- The Philadelphia Flyers stunned Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers with a 2-1 shootout victory.
- Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson was hit by a car on Wednesday in Detroit before the team’s clash with the Red Wings. The team says he is okay and is listed as day-to-day.
- After years of searching for a home, Dylan Strome figures he has found one with the Washington Capitals.
- Does Rickard Rakell regret sticking with the Pittsburgh Penguins?
PANTHERS ON DECK
COLORADO AVALANCHE AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live 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
- Last season: Split 1-1
- This season (Florida leads 1-0): Panthers 5, Avalanche 4 (Jan. 10)
- All-time regular season series: Colorado leads 26-12-5, 3 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at Minnesota, 8 p.m.