Haley breaks tie in 3rd, Panthers beat Jets 6-4
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers lost another key player in a win Thursday night.
Micheal Haley scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, and the Panthers overcame an injury to Aleksander Barkov to beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-4.
Barkov left in the second period after taking a blow to the head and did not return. Vincent Trocheck also briefly left the game in the second after being hit near the eye.
“Losing Barky, obviously we had to scramble,” coach Bob Boughner said. “We lost (Trocheck) as well. We were mix-and-matching all over the place. But I give a lot of credit to the guys. They found a way to win.”
Barkov is day-to-day, while Trocheck returned and scored twice in the third period.
Denis Malgin, Mark Pysyk and Aaron Ekblad also scored for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. James Reimer made 35 saves.
Reimer started in place of Roberto Luongo, who left the game last Monday against the New York Islanders with a leg injury and will be out an extended period of time.
The Panthers took an early 2-0 lead, but Winnipeg tied it at 2 and the lead bounced back and forth several times.
“It was a big battle and we never let up,” Trocheck said. “Even when they came back in the first, it’d be easy for us to hang our heads and go out there and let up a little bit, but we stuck with it, got back with our system in the second period and took over.”
Patrik Laine had a goal and two assists for the Jets. Blake Wheeler, Adam Lowry and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored. Eric Comrie stopped 30 shots in his second career start.
“The pucks went in for them and didn’t go in for us,” Comrie said. “A couple deflections here and there and it ends up in the back of the net.”
The Panthers took a 5-4 lead when Haley redirected a shot by Derek MacKenzie 9:58 into the third. Trocheck added an empty-netter with 10.1 seconds left.
Trocheck gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead 48 seconds into the third when he poked in a rebound during a power play. The Jets tied it again 1:03 later on Laine’s goal.
“Today we just weren’t 100-percent ready to battle,” Laine said. “Florida came hard in this game and we just couldn’t match that.”
The Panthers tied it at 3 when Malgin took a pass from Colton Sceviour from behind the net in front and poked it past Comrie with 4:13 left in the second.
The Jets took a 3-2 lead on a power-play goal by Wheeler. The Panthers had successfully killed off a 5-on-3, but six seconds later Wheeler took a nice pass from Laine and fired a shot from the right circle at 3:50 of the second.
“Tied 3-3 on the road going into the third, that’s a game we expect to win,” Wheeler said. “It wasn’t bouncing for us tonight.”
The Panthers killed off two 5-on-3 penalties.
Pysyk and Ekblad put Florida up 2-0 with goals 29 seconds apart in the first period, but Ehlers and Lowry tied it before the first intermission.
NOTES: Ekblad got his 42nd career goal, tying him with Gord Murphy for third in Panthers history in goals by a defenseman. ... Laine has four goals and seven points in four games. ... Wheeler has a four-game point streak.
Jets: Visit Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
Panthers: Host Colorado on Saturday night.
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