COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Boone Jenner scored at 10:05 of the third period to lift Columbus past the Florida Panthers 2-1 and end the Blue Jackets’ six-game skid on Monday night.
Matt Calvert also scored for Columbus, which entered having won only two of its past 17 games to drop to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Rookie Aaron Ekblad, the top overall pick, scored his third goal of the season for Florida, which has lost nine in a row to Columbus.
Tied at 1 in the third, Jenner poked home a loose puck in front of the goal. Al Montoya had stopped Kerby Rychel’s spin-around shot, but Jenner got to the rebound for his second of the season.
The assist was the first NHL point for Rychel, a 2013 first-round draft pick, in his second game.
Moments later, Sergei Bobrovsky, who finished with 24 saves, went right to left to kick aside Tomas Fleischmann’s shot.
The Panthers had a faceoff in the Columbus zone with 10.3 seconds remaining, but after the draw they couldn’t get the puck out from behind the Blue Jackets’ net.
Florida dominated most of the first period, but it was Columbus scoring first. Working in the corner, Michael Chaput sent the puck to Calvert, who made an in-tight forehand to backhand move to tuck it behind Montoya at 15:07 for his third of the season. Montoya made 21 saves.
The Panthers wasted little time getting even in the second period. Maneuvering at the point on the power play, Ekblad fired a shot past a screened Bobrovsky at 1:23.
At the end of the period, Columbus withstood pressure from Florida then almost had a prime scoring chance going the other away. Bobrovsky stopped Tomas Kopecky’s uncontested shot from the slot and paddled away Kopecky’s follow. The Blue Jackets left the zone on a 2-on-1 break, but Dmitry Kulikov broke it up by sliding to make a stop.
NOTES: Goalie Roberto Luongo is expected to start for the Panthers on Tuesday in Detroit. He also sat out Florida’s previous game with an arm injury. … Columbus played its first game without center Artem Anisimov, who suffered a torn triceps muscle Saturday and will miss 2-3 months. … First-year Florida coach Gerard Gallant was a Blue Jackets assistant coach (2000-2004) then went 56-76-4-6 as the head coach (2004-2006).
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