SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov scored and Roberto Luongo made 21 saves as the Florida Panthers beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Tomas Fleischmann, Derek MacKenzie and Jimmy Hayes each scored for Florida. Florida has won six of seven against the Sharks.
Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks. Antti Niemi had 26 saves.
The Panthers entered the game ahead of only Buffalo in scoring with 20 in 12 games and had allowed 10 goals over their past two games. But they broke out Tuesday for their largest margin of victory this season — each of Florida’s first four wins were by one goal.
Ahead 2-0, the Panthers stretched their lead on MacKenzie’s goal in the second. Niemi blocked a shot by Aaron Ekblad but MacKenzie grabbed the rebound in the slot and wristed it into the net at 6:37. Ekblad, the Panthers’ first round pick in the 2014 draft, has six assists and seven points in 13 games, tying him with Jussi Jokinen for the team lead.
Fleischmann, who was benched for Saturday’s game, made it 4-0 when he redirected a shot by Shawn Thornton into the net at 3:01 of the third. The goal was Fleischmann’s first of the season.
Joe Thornton’s tip-in for the Sharks with 9:25 left in the game made the score 4-1.
The Panthers scored two goals in a span of 1:22 in the first. They also outshot the Sharks 10-5 in what may have been their best period of the season.
Hayes took a nice pass from Vincent Trocheck in the right circle and beat Niemi with a wrist shot at 10:56 to make it 1-0.
Barkov took a pass from behind the net and quickly sneaked the puck behind Niemi from the left side for a 2-0 lead at 12:18.
NOTES: San Jose played its third game in four days. . Florida D Dmitri Kulikov is expected to miss two games with a knee injury sustained in Saturday’s game against Calgary. … Panthers players wore camouflage jerseys during warmups to honor military veterans on Veteran’s Day. … Retired Army Brigadier General Pete Dawkins, the 1958 Heisman Trophy winner, dropped the ceremonial first puck.
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