SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, lifting the Florida Panthers over the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 on Thursday night.
Brad Boyes and Derek Mackenzie also scored for Florida and Nick Bjugstad added an empty-netter with 46 seconds left. Dan Ellis made 18 saves for the Panthers in his third consecutive start in place of the injured Roberto Luongo. Luongo is day to day with an upper-body injury sustained on March 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr each had two assists.
Ellis took a knee from Andrew Ladd to his left side after Ladd was pushed into him at 18:44 of the third. Ellis was down on the ice briefly but stayed in the game.
Drew Stafford and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets and Michael Hutchinson stopped 17 shots.
The Panthers won their second consecutive game and have recorded at least one point in the past three games with Ellis in goal.
The Panthers remain six points behind the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins won 3-2 in a shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier on Thursday night.
The Jets have lost three of their past four games.
Barkov gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead when he fired a shot from the right circle that went high into the net over Hutchinson’s glove with 3:53 left in the third.
Stafford tied it at 2 when he took a bouncing puck in front and poked it past Ellis at 6:13 of the third.
Boye’s power-play goal gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the second. Boye’s shot rebounded into the crease and Jets defenseman Adam Pardy attempted to clear the puck. Instead, the puck went off Pardy’s stick and into the net with 2:53 left in the second.
Scheifele tied the score 1-all when he rifled a shot from the top of the right circle that got past Ellis at 9:14 of the second.
MacKenzie gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on a spectacular goal late in the first period. Dave Bolland passed across from the neutral zone on the right side and MacKenzie made a diving stab at the puck. MacKenzie got just enough of his stick on it to push the puck to the net. Hutchinson partially blocked the shot on the glove side but the puck got behind him and into the net with 3:32 left in the first.
NOTES: Jets D Tyler Myers left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. … C Bryan Little and D Dustin Byfuglien each missed their third game with an upper-body injury. … Huberdeau’s two assists give him 100 points in his NHL career. … Panthers D Aaron Ekblad, the first pick of the 2014 draft, returned after missing his first game of the season with the flu. … Bolland returned after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.