Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Bobrovsky gains milestone
Goalie records 350th win; Reinhart, Staal each score two goals
Sam Reinhart and Eric Staal each scored a pair of goals and the Florida Panthers beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 Thursday night for their season-high third straight win.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves in the win, which was No. 350 in his NHL career. Bobrovsky is the 25th goalie in NHL history to hit the mark.
“I have been fortunate to have played with some great teammates and great coaches,’’ Bobrovsky said.
“It is definitely a big achievement, but you focus one moment at a time right now. This was a good game, they came out fast and we defended well. The penalty kill in the end, they did a great job in front of me, clearing pucks out and then scoring two big goals,” he said.
Alexander Bararanov scored for the Sharks. Kaapo Kahkonen made 38 saves in the loss.
Florida played minus captain Aleksander Barkov, who was out because of a hand injury.
But Reinhart, who plays on the right side of the Panthers’ top line, helped make up for Barkov’s absence.
“I think the important thing is we know we need to go on a bit of a run here,’’ Reinhart said. “We have to take advantage of home ice, especially with all the opportunities we have in front of us. Nights when you’re not feeling your best, you have to find ways to win. Tonight, we did a good job of that.”
The Panthers tied it at 1 when Reinhart scored early in the second period on a wrist shot from the right circle.
In the final minute of the second, Eetu Luostarinen — who replaced Barkov as the first-line center — drove toward the net and stumbled to the ice as he released a pass to Reinhart in the slot.
Reinhart deflected the soft shot and put it between Kahkonen’s skates for the go-ahead goal with 40.2 seconds remaining.
Kahkonen was pulled for an extra skater with 2:15 remaining to give the Sharks a 6-on-4.
Only Luostarinen picked off a puck at center ice and fed Staal for the empty-net goal with 1:39 remaining.
Staal got his second empty-net goal just 24 seconds later.
He became the fourth player in franchise history to score two shorthanded goals in the same game and the first since Olli Jokinen in 2002.
“I thought early on, we had some chances and then just got a little sloppy,’’ San Jose coach
David Quinn said regarding the failed four-minute power play. “It is disappointing because we had some chances to tie it early.”
Barkov missed his 11th game of the season due to various injuries and illness. The Panthers expect him to return to the lineup on Saturday. … San Jose center Logan Couture briefly left in the second period after being run into the backboards by Florida defenseman Brandon Montour. Couture returned after missing about five minutes of game time. … Montour saw his 10-game scoring streak come to a close. He scored three goals with 10 points during his streak.
Panthers: Hosts Colorado on Saturday night.