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Sunday Stroll: Florida Panthers 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Sunday afternoon, the Florida Panthers and host Blue Jackets got off to a quick start, settled into a slog of a game before things amped up in the third.

Erik Gudbranson, the third-overall pick of the Panthers back in 2010, took exception to being boarded by Nick Cousins to start that period.

Not long after, Gudbranson attacked Cousins resulting in a 7-minute power play.

Florida only scored once in that time with the man advantage, but it was enough to keep the scrappy Jackets at bay as the Panthers kicked off their five-game road trip with a 5-2 win.

Columbus was trailing 2-1 when Gudbranson was kicked out of the game — and forced his team to defend instead of go on the attack — for seven big minutes.

Because of the nature of the calls, Florida could have scored multiple times.

One was enough.

The third period certainly woke up a sleepy game — one which got off to a flying start.

Florida led 1-0 on a Gus Forsling sot just 62 seconds in.

At 7:06, Columbus tied it at 1 only to see Carter Verhaeghe knock down a Sam Reinhart pass 22 seconds later to give Florida a lead it would not relinquish.

That was the second primary assist of the night for Reinhart — who ended with four points.

Sasha Barkov made it 3-1 when he swept in a loose puck off a shot from Reinhart on the power play.

Columbus pulled within a goal not long after the arena’s scoreboard lost power as Dmitri Voronkov scored with his net vacated.

Matthew Tkachuk ended up finding that empty net with 1:55 left.

Both goalies were very good on Sunday with Anthony Stolarz stopping 16 shots; Jet Greaves was under attack for big portions of the game but did a nice job of holding the Panthers off with 31 saves.

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Panthers 1, Blue Jackets 0 (1:02, 1st): Gus Forsling glides into the left circle, takes an easy pass from Sasha Barkov and wrists one past Jet Greaves.
  • Blue Jackets 1, Panthers 1 (7:06, 1st): Yegor Chinakhov ties the score with his sixth of the season, but the score is not even for long…
  • Panthers 2, Blue Jackets 1 (7:28, 1st): Carter Verhaeghe bats down a high shot from Sam Reinhart to give the Panthers the lead right back. It would stay 2-1 for a minute.
  • Panthers 3, Blue Jackets 1 (13:13, 3rd): Barkov cleans up a loose puck off a Reinhart shot with 37 seconds left in the Erik Gudbranson 7-minute penalty.
  • Panthers 3, Blue Jackets 2 (16:11, 3rd): Dmitri Voronkov gets down low and pulls Columbus within a goal.
  • Panthers 4, Blue Jackets 2 (18:05, 3rd EN): Matthew Tkachuk.
  • Panthers 5, Blue Jackets 2 (18:59, 3rd EN): Eetu Luostarinen.

GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Sam Reinhart (4 assists), Florida

2. Carter Verhaeghe (goal), Florida

3. Sasha Barkov (goal, 2 assists), Florida

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ SEATTLE KRAKEN 

  • When: Tuesday, 10 p.m.
  • Where: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • This Season (Florida Leads 1-0) — At Florida: Panthers 3, Kraken 2 (Oct.28). At Seattle: Tuesday.
  • Last Season: Tied 1-1
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Seattle leads 3-2-0
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday at Vancouver, 10

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