SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — It took a record effort by Sergei Bobrovsky to preserve a win for the Columbus Blue Jackets.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Temps In The 30s This Weekend
Bobrovsky made a franchise-record and career-high 52 saves and Ryan Johansen scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift the Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
“He (Bobrovsky) stole this one, without question,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “He was tremendous in the game. He’s the only reason why we got two points.”
Boone Jenner, Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno scored in regulation for the Blue Jackets.
Nick Bjugstad had two goals and an assist for the Panthers. Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist and Roberto Luongo made 17 saves.
Johansen’s shot went over Luongo’s right shoulder in the fourth round of the shootout for the only score in the tiebreaker.
The 55 shots were a season-high for the Panthers and also the most ever given up by Columbus. Bobrovsky also stopped four shootout attempts.
“I?can’t remember most of the shots,” Bobrovsky said “We’re happy to get the two points. It’s important for us.”
Bobrovsky was forced to face so many shots because the Blue Jackets’ offense disappeared after scoring early in the second.
“Bobrovsky stole us a couple of points tonight. We definitely didn’t deserve to win,” Johansen said. “Right now we need points and we got two points, so we’ll take them.”
Leading 2-0, the Blue Jackets stretched their lead to three early in the second on Jenner’s goal. Luongo blocked a shot by Atkinson but Jenner fired in the rebound at 51 seconds.
After that, the Blue Jackets were outshot 38-7 in the second and third periods.
“I?think we had the momentum for the first couple of minutes (in the second period)?and it seemed like we just kind of fell asleep,” Atkinson said. “Thank God for (Bobrovsky).”READ MORE: Possibility Of New Surfside Building Has Residents Worried
The Blue Jackets won for the second time in eight games and stretched their win streak against Florida to 10 games. The Panthers haven’t beaten Columbus since Nov. 21, 2007.
“(We are) disappointed, but we’re down 3-0 and we battled back and we played a (heck of a) last two periods,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We really dominated and took control of the game and their goalie had to make some huge saves to get them the win. Anytime you get 55 shots you should win the game. It didn’t happen tonight.”
The Panthers scored three goals in a span of 4:37 in the second period to tie it.
Fleischmann scored on a 2-on-1 at 2:54. Jonathan Huberdeau passed across to Fleischmann in the right circle and his slap shot went over Bobrovsky’s left shoulder to get Florida on the scoreboard.
Bjugstad scored the next two goals. His soft wrist shot got past Bobrovsky at 5:04 to make it 3-2. Bjugstad’s second goal came during a power play as his shot from the left side of the net hit a Columbus player’s skate and went in at 7:31 to tie it.
“We came back, did a good job,” said Bjugstad, who leads the Panthers with 10 goals. “Everyone bought in there in those last two periods.”
The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead 1:07 into the game. Dalton Prout shot from the point and the puck bounced out. Foligno took the loose puck, skated around the net and scored on a wraparound.
The Blue Jackets went ahead 2-0 later in the first on a breakaway by Atkinson. The puck got by a Panthers defenseman and Atkinson grabbed the puck, skated in on Luongo, and beat him gloveside at 9:51.
NOTES: Panthers C Aleksander Barkov missed his second game with a hand injury. … The Panthers acquired D Jesse Blacker from the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday for D Colby Robak. … Bobrovsky is 8-1 in his career against Florida. … Jenner’s goal was his second in two games against the Panthers.
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