Acciari, Bobrovsky lift Panthers over Canucks 5-2
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Noel Acciari just keeps getting the puck in the net during the best scoring streak of his career.
Acciari did it again Thursday night with two more goals and Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves in his first start in three games to lift the Florida Panthers over the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.
Acciari has 17 goals this season, including two hat tricks, and 12 goals in his last 12 games. He scored 18 goals in 180 games while playing parts of four seasons with the Boston Bruins.
“It’s a good streak going right now, but you don’t want to think about too much and just kind of keep playing the game and just getting in the right areas,” Acciari said. “Again, I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my linemates. They’ve been awesome through this whole thing and making it a lot easier for me.”
Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov and Mark Pysyk also scored for Florida. Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists to move within one point of tying Olli Jokinen for the most in Panthers franchise history (419).
Huberdeau’s assist on Hoffman’s power-play goal fooled several defensemen before he made a perfect pass across the ice.
“It goes pretty fast, I don’t know,” Huberdeau said. “I guess it’s working right now. I kind of tried to make a move and passed it to Hoff and obviously a great shot by him”
Coach Joel Quenneville was more impressed.
“We talk about the wow factor. That was a wow-wow,” he said.
Tyler Motte and Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks. Thatcher Demko made 44 saves.
“We went down early, and we were just trying to find our way back into the game,” Demko said.
The Canucks lost their second in a row after winning seven straight and have given up 14 goals in those two losses.
“I thought our group came out in the third and tried to mount a comeback, but that’s easier said than done,” coach Travis Green said. “When you’re chasing the game, there’s a good chance you’re going to force plays and maybe turn over the puck.”
Leading 3-1, the Panthers increased their lead on a power-play goal by Hoffman, whose one-timer on one knee went high into the net with 16:20 left in the second.
Acciari deflected in a shot from Aaron Ekblad with 13:05 left in the third to make it 5-1.
Motte’s goal with 7:46 left made it 5-2.
The Panthers scored goals on their first two shots of the game.
Acciari grabbed a loose puck in the right circle and fired it past Demko 1 minute in. Pysyk made it 2-0 when he took a nice pass from Colton Sceviour in the slot and pushed it by Demko at 16:59.
Boeser cut the deficit to 2-1 when he redirected a shot from the point by Tyler Myers into the net at 6:51 of the first.
Dadnov flipped the puck over Demko from the slot with 1:07 left in the first to make it 3-1.
NOTES: Panthers C Brian Boyle recorded his 100th NHL assist on the goal by Pysyk. ... D MacKenzie Weegar practiced Wednesday, but missed his eighth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. ... Boeser has 17 points in his last 17 games for the Canucks.
Canucks: visit the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
Panthers: host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.