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Apr 11, 2024 9:46 pm

Panthers silence Blue Jackets for 2nd straight shutout

Panthers, Blue Jackets

Sam Reinhart scored his 54th goal — second most in the NHL this season — as the host Florida Panthers defeated the Columbus Blue Jacket 4-0 on Thursday night in Sunrise, Fla.

Edmonton Oilers star Zach Hyman started the day tied with Reinhart at 53 goals, but the Oilers were idle on Thursday.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves as the Panthers shut out their second straight opponent. Backup goalie Anthony Stolarz blanked the Ottawa Senators 2-0 on Tuesday.

Florida entered the game leading the NHL in fewest goals allowed at 2.46 per game.

Matthew Tkachuk, Evan Rodrigues and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for Florida. Oliver Ekman-Larsson added two assists in the win.

The Panthers (50-24-6, 106 points) have already clinched a playoff berth. They are one point behind the first-place Boston Bruins, who were idle on Thursday, in the Atlantic Division.

This is just the second time in Panthers history they have reached 50 wins. The other one happened in 2021-2022, when the Panthers won 58 games.

Columbus (26-42-12, 64 points), which is in last place in the Eastern Conference, lost its third straight game.

Blue Jackets goalie Jet Greaves, a 23-year-old rookie making just his seventh NHL start, produced 42 saves.

It took the Panthers just 47 seconds to score on Greaves as Tkachuk blasted a high shot off the left post.

Florida added two goals in the final three minutes of the second period.

The Panthers scored on an awkward two-on-three rush engineered by Rodrigues and Anton Lundell. Three Columbus defenders — David Jiricek, Brendan Gaunce and Zach Werenski — were all in position to break up the play. Jiricek and Gaunce got their sticks on the puck.

However, Lundell passed the puck back to Rodrigues for a contested tap-in goal.

With 54 seconds left in the second, Reinhart scored on the open left side of the net. The play started when the Panthers forced a neutral-zone turnover. Aleksander Barkov then passed back to Reinhart, who used a Tarasenko screen to score rather easily.

Tarasenko made it 4-0 with 2:17 left in the third as he shoved in a rebound off of a shot by Gustav Forsling.

–Field Level Media

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