Skip to main content

Blue Jackets 5, Panthers 4 @NHLdotcom

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - David Vyborny made sure Pascal Leclaire was able to celebrate a victory after a busy night in goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Vyborny scored a power-play goal with 12 seconds left in overtime, and Leclaire made 48 saves in Columbus' 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

"I didn't know how much time was left," Vyborny said. "I had a wide-open net and I just put it in."

The Panthers tied it with 47 seconds left in regulation when Nathan Horton deflected a shot by Jay Bouwmeester.

"These nights happen and as a goalie you just want to be solid and give the team a chance to win," Leclaire said. "We found a way to score a lot of goals against a great goalie."

Vyborny also had a third-period goal, and Jason Chimera, Sergei Fedorov and Rick Nash added goals to help Columbus improve to 6-17-0 on the road. Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts and Chris Gratton also scored for Florida and Roberto Luongo made 18 saves.

"Coming in here we didn't think we were going to get five goals on Luongo," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "I didn't expect a 5-4 game. I was thinking 3-2 or 2-1."

Columbus took a 4-3 lead at 11:27 of the third when Michael Rupp's shot rebounded off Luongo and Chimera poked in the puck. The Panthers had tied it at 3 on Gratton's shot from the right circle at 5:02 of the third.

The Blue Jackets scored two goals in less than 3 minutes in the third period. They tied it at 2 at 1:17 on Vyborny's wrist shot from the left circle, and took a 3-2 lead at 4:07 when Nash's shot hit a Florida player in front of the crease and Fedorov pushed the puck past Luongo.

"The goalies shouldn't have been the difference in the game," Nieuwendyk said. "They just chipped away and got back into it."

Columbus had only eight shots in the first two periods, even though it had five power plays.

"It was one of those games where we had a lot of shots and a lot of chances but we just did not put them away," Panther coach Jacques Martin said.

Columbus cut the score to 2-1 at 3:23 of the second. Nash took a pass from Nikolai Zherdev near the blue line and skated in alone on Luongo. Nash beat Luongo on the stick side for his 11th goal in his past 14 games.

"You don't see much net with Luongo and, lucky enough, I went for the low blocker shot and it went in," Nash said. "It would have been a pretty down feeling if they came back and won."

Florida's second goal of the first period came during a power play. A slap shot from Olli Jokinen deflected off Roberts' stick and went over Leclaire's left shoulder at 15:26. Florida took a 1-0 lead at 12:45 when Nieuwendyk took a pass to the side of the crease and beat Leclaire stick side.

Notes: Nieuwendyk has seven goals and seven assists in the past 12 games. ... Nash has eight goals and six assists in a season-high, eight-game points streak. ... Columbus has won six of its past nine. ... Vyborny has a goal in three straight games. ... Fedorov has a season-high six-game point streak.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.