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Panthers capitalize on power plays, defeat Avalanche

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The Florida Panthers' special teams more than made up for loss of leading scorer Jaromir Jagr on Tuesday.

Vincent Trocheck had two of the Panthers' three power-play goals and 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell scored the first shorthanded goal of his career in a 4-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at BB&T Center.

"It's fun when you have a night like that; three power-play goals and they really moved the puck well. They got rewarded for it," coach Gerard Gallant said in video posted on the Panthers website after watching his team go 3-for-3 with the extra man. "It's good to see that happen."

The Panthers (5-3-1) won despite losing Jagr in the first period because of a lower-body injury. He played 2:30 before leaving late in the period and did not return.

"I think it's a groin or hip, something minor," Gallant said. "Hopefully tomorrow he's fine."

Florida is already without center Aleksander Barkov, Jagr's linemate, who is sidelined 2-4 weeks because of a broken hand.

"Losing Barkov, then losing Jagr today, we need a little bit more from everybody," forward Jussi Jokinen said. "We got it tonight."

Roberto Luongo made 31 saves for the 404th victory of his NHL career, breaking a tie with Grant Fuhr for ninth on the all-time list. Luongo, who had an assist on Trocheck's first goal, lost his shutout bid when Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog scored with 57 seconds remaining.

"We played a pretty stingy game," said forward Reilly Smith, who scored the Panthers' other power-play goal. "It was tough to see that puck go in. [Luongo] played well enough to get a shutout."

Smith had his power-play goal midway through the third period. Campbell assisted on each of Trocheck's goals, then capped a 5-for-5 night by Florida's penalty-killers by scoring the Panthers' first shorthanded goal of the season, matching their total for all of 2014-15.

"Special teams are huge," Trocheck said. "Whenever our power play is going, it gets our whole team going."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in Panthers history that they have scored four or more goals in a game with all of them coming on the power play or shorthanded.

Reto Berra made 24 saves for Colorado (2-5-1), which lost the opener of a three-game road trip and is 0-3-1 in its past four games.

"We just need to put everything together," coach Patrick Roy said in video posted on the Avalanche website. "That's what we're missing right now. Their puck movement, their execution on the power play was better than ours.

"Our 5-on-5 was solid. The penalty-killing was really sharp until tonight. Now we have to get the power play going in the right direction."

The Panthers killed back-to-back penalties midway through the first period, then took the lead with 19.7 seconds remaining on Trocheck's first goal. With Alex Tanguay off for holding, Trocheck carried the puck through center ice and into the Colorado zone, then took a wrist shot from inside the right circle that beat Berra to the far side for a 1-0 lead.

Florida killed overlapping penalties early in the second period, including a 52-second stretch when Colorado had a 5-on-3 advantage. Luongo made three saves of his 12 second-period saves while Colorado was up two men.

The Panthers made it 2-0 after Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin was called for tripping at 2:44 of the third period. Florida won the draw, and Trocheck one-timed a cross-ice pass by Dmitry Kulikov past Berra from inside the left circle at 2:58 for his fourth goal of the season.

Beauchemin went off for cross-checking at 7:51, and Smith hit a half-empty net with two seconds remaining in the power play for his fourth of the season.

Campbell scored his first of the season on a shorthanded slap shot from the slot with 5:58 remaining, converting a slick pass by Smith after a Colorado turnover.

"He saw me coming and made a great play," Campbell said.

Landeskog banged a rebound past Luongo for his fifth goal, the only one at even strength by either team.

"I was pleased with our 5-on-5 game," Roy said. "I thought we managed our game well. We did a lot of good things. But our 5-on-5 is clicking and our power play and PK are not."

Colorado forward Jarome Iginla played in his 1,400th NHL game. He is the 35th player in League history to reach that milestone.

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