NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Florida Panthers got just the start they wanted for a five-game trip and helped ease the memory of an ugly home loss in their last game.
Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck scored 29 seconds apart in the second period, and the Panthers beat the Nashville Predators 7-4 on Saturday.
Jaromir Jagr also scored for the 1,899th point of his NHL career as the Panthers kicked off their long road swing by scoring four goals in the second to rebound from a 6-3 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night.
“It was a bounce-back game,” said Trocheck, who had two goals and an assist. “Obviously, we didn’t play very well against L.A., so tonight was the night we needed to come and bounce back, and that’s what we did.”
Jonathan Huberdeau added a goal and two assists, and Jussi Jokinen had a goal and an assist to help Florida sweep the season series against Nashville.
Nashville’s Pekka Rinne gave up four goals on 16 shots, including three on six shots in the second period, before being pulled. Juuse Saros quickly gave up a power-play goal to Aleksander Barkov, who capped the four-goal flurry for the Panthers before midway through the period.
Viktor Arvidsson had his first career hat trick for Nashville.
The Panthers came into Nashville for their second game after their mandatory five-day break. They looked much sharper than they did against the Kings and stunned the Predators in the second with three goals in a 2:29 span.
“They were focused, they wanted to regroup from the other night, and that’s the type of group they are,” Florida interim coach Tom Rowe said. “It’s a high-end character bunch of guys and they played great. They play the right way and when they play the right way they get rewarded.”
For the Predators, it was the most goals they’ve allowed this season after giving up six only twice before this season. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette didn’t hide his disgust with the performance.
“It was gross,” Laviolette said. “We didn’t play with any purposes. No passion. No effort. You’re never going to win a hockey game. The actions that we gave are going to give us the results that we got. It’s that simple.”
The 44-year-old Jagr started the scoring for Florida. He came in two points shy of reaching 1,900 for his lengthy career and picked up one just 4:24 into the game, redirecting the puck past Rinne by raising his stick for the tip and a 1-0 lead.
Nashville tied it up midway through the period four seconds into a man advantage. Roman Josi got the puck off the faceoff at the blue line, and his slap shot went off the top of Roberto Luongo’s glove and into the net.
The Panthers dominated the second as they chased Rinne. Huberdeau scored 2:30 into the third to squelch any thoughts of a Nashville rally before Trocheck’s empty-netter in the final minute.
With Nashville down 5-2, Arvidsson added a short-handed goal at 17:01 of the second off a one-timer from the left circle from Ryan Ellis. Arvidsson got the hat trick with 1:12 left, redirecting Yannick Weber’s shot. Fans celebrated by tossing the oven mitts given away before the game onto the ice.
Notes: Trocheck skated in his 200th NHL game. … Huberdeau has five points (two goals, three assists) in his first three games this season. … Arvidsson has three short-handed goals this season, tying him for the NHL lead. … Josi has power-play goals in consecutive games for the first time in his career. … Panthers forward Reilly Smith also had two assists, giving him 101 for his career.
Panthers: Visit San Jose on Wednesday night.
Predators: Host Dallas on Sunday.
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