SUNRISE (CBSMiami/AP) – A constant theme this season is that the Florida Panthers play well against the best teams in the NHL.READ MORE: Hollywood Looks To Tighten Animal Abuse Laws
The Panthers find a way to play their very best against the Anaheim Ducks, one of the top teams in the league.
Roberto Luongo made 31 saves and the Panthers got goals from six players in a 6-2 win over the Ducks on Tuesday.
The Panthers have scored a combined 12 goals in their two meetings with the Ducks this season, including a 6-2 win at Anaheim on Nov. 16.
Jimmy Hayes, Dave Bolland, Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Nick Bjugstad and Dmitry Kulikov scored for the Panthers. Jonathan Huberdeau had three assists, tying his career high.
“All the guys contributed tonight. It was a fun game to be a part of,” Bjugstad said. “Everyone was scoring and making plays. I?don’t know if we really expected that kind of game again.”
The Panthers have scored six goals four times this season, twice against the Ducks.
“I?guess we like playing against them,” Huberdeau said. “They’re a really good team, but I?guess we come out hard.”
The Panthers won for the third time in their past four games.
Tim Jackman and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Ducks, who lost their third straight game. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed three goals on eight shots before being replaced by John Gibson at 5:57 of the second. Gibson stopped 15 of 18 shots. The Ducks have given up 11 goals in their past two games.
“I don’t want to single anybody out or anything, but we’re concerned with the amount of goals we’re giving up,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We’re a team that was in the top 10 defensively last year and we think we’re a better team. We’re concerned about it.”
Bryzgalov started in place of Frederik Andersen, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday with an upper-body injury.
Ahead 3-1, the Panthers padded their lead with two goals 22 seconds apart in the second period. Barkov backhanded the puck past Gibson at 12:50 and Bolland then poked in a rebound on Gibson’s stick side to make the score 5-1.READ MORE: London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returned To MIA After Couple Refused To Wear Masks
Jackman scored a goal for Anaheim when a slowly bouncing puck from the blue line skipped past Luongo with 5:06 left in the second to close the score to 5-2.
Hayes’ power-play goal at 12:44 of the third gave the Panthers a 6-2 lead.
The Ducks are 1-2-1 on their five-game road trip.
“I don’t know if we’re taking teams lightly or we’re lowering the standards or what we’re doing but these kind of games you’ve got to show up to play,” Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. “We’ve got to change something in our routine and get out of this little funk.”
The Ducks play at Carolina on Thursday before returning home for two games.
“We’ve got to look in the mirror and go punch the pillow tonight and be (ticked) off and hopefully come back with a better effort against Carolina,” defenseman Ben Lovejoy said.
Leading 2-0, the Panthers stretched their lead to 3-0 on Ekblad’s goal in the second. Ekblad took a slap shot from the slot and the puck went over Bryzgalov’s shoulder into the net at 5:37.
The Ducks closed to 3-1 on a power-play goal by Palmieri during a 5-on-3 advantage. Palmieri grabbed a loose puck and in front and found an opening at 7:23 of the second.
The Panthers scored two power-play goals on five shots in the first.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead after Kulikov took a slap shot from above the right circle that got past Bryzgalov at 5:31.
Bjugstad took a wrist shot from the faceoff dot in the left circle that went between the pads of Bryzgalov at 12:20. Bjugstad leads the Panthers with 18 goals and 33 points.
“Obviously the power play was hot and scored three goals again tonight,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We were opportunistic. We took advantage of our scoring chances and made the best of it.”
Notes: Andersen was injured in Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay after being hit in the head by the crossbar of the net. Gibson was recalled from AHL Norfolk to back up Bryzgalov. … Luongo ranks fourth all time in the NHL in saves with 23,019. … Ducks forward Rene Bourque played his 600th NHL game. … Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann recorded his 300th NHL point with an assist in the second. … Panthers C Brandon Pirri suffered an upper-body injury 17 seconds into the game and did not return. … Forward Sean Bergenheim returned after missing the past three games.MORE NEWS: Florida COVID-19 Hospitalizations Decrease
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