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Six Panthers score in win against Ducks

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Not even scoring a fluky goal from center ice could prevent the Anaheim Ducks from a second lopsided loss to the Florida Panthers.

Dave Bolland had a goal and an assist, Jonathan Huberdeau tied his career high with three assists, and the Panthers defeated the Ducks 6-2 at BB&T Center on Tuesday.

Florida also defeated Anaheim 6-2 at Honda Center on Nov. 16; each of its two most lopsided victories have come against Anaheim.

"I???guess we like playing against them,"???Huberdeau said. "They're a really good team, but I???guess we come out hard. I???think we played overall a really good game and we've just got to continue playing like that."

Dmitry Kulikov, Nick Bjugstad, Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Jimmy Hayes scored for the Panthers, who are 3-0-1 in their past four games. Defensemen Brian Campbell and Erik Gudbranson had two assists each and were among 12 Panthers with at least one point.

"All guys contributed tonight,"???Bjugstad said. "It was a fun game to be a part of. Everyone was scoring and making plays. I???don't know if we really expected that kind of game again. Obviously we played them early in the year and kind of did the same thing. I???don't know if we match up kind of well against them. It worked out tonight."

The Panthers (24-17-11)???moved within four points of the Boston Bruins for the second wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with two games in hand.

Roberto Luongo made 28 saves, but let forward Tim Jackman's bouncing backhand shot from just inside center ice get past him in the second period. The Panthers then led 5-1.

"They happen,"???Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "I'm glad it happened at the right time when we got six goals. That's the good thing about it."

Luongo could joke about the goal after the game. As he walked out of the dressing room with reporters talking to some of his teammates, Luongo said, "You guys don't want to talk about that goal I???let in in the second period????Perfect shot."

Luongo's first save of the second period made him the fourth goalie in NHL???history with 23,000 saves.

Forward Kyle Palmieri had the other goal for Anaheim, which fell behind 3-0 for the second consecutive game.

The Ducks have lost three in a row (0-2-1)???for the first time since going 0-1-2 from Nov. 15-18. They are 1-2-1 on a five-game road trip that ends against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

The six goals tied for most the Ducks have given up all season; they have given up four goals or more in five of their past seven games.

"[I'm] very concerned,"???captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "It's unlike our group and we can't accept that. We can't be giving up those kind of scoring chances, leaving our goalies out to dry, back-door tap-ins every time. It’s something we've got to address.

"We've proven we can play. There's no big mystery to it, we've just got to play hockey. When you've got a team that's played as well as we have in the past, you know what's in here, so that's the most frustrating part."

With goalie Frederik Andersen placed on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury he sustained in a 5-3 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, Ilya Bryzgalov started for Anaheim but was pulled 20 seconds after Ekblad’s goal made it 3-0 at 5:37 of the second period.

"I'd said that if they'd scored early in the second period, no matter what kind of goal it was, I?????????was going to pull him (to) try to spark the team,"?????????Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You get down 3-0, you've got to try different things, right??????????I don't think there was much he could do on the third goal. ... but at the same time I?????????thought the first two goals were stoppable."

Bryzgalov, who came in with a 1-3-1 record with a 3.95 goals-against average and a .859 save percentage in seven games with the Ducks, allowed three goals on eight shots before being replaced by John Gibson, who was recalled Tuesday from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. Gibson started the first game of the season for the Ducks.

Anaheim (34-14-7) trails the Nashville Predators by three points for the most in the NHL.

Florida matched its season high with three power-play goals, including two in the first period that produced a 2-0 lead.

"We jumped on them right away and capitalized on those penalties,"?????????Bjugstad said. "They had a lot of penalties called on them. It was good to get off on the right start and we just kept going from there."

Kulikov opened the scoring at 5:31 with a one-timer from the right point that beat Bryzgalov high to the blocker side.

Bjugstad, who had two goals and two assists in the Nov. 16 game at Anaheim, scored toward the end of a two-man advantage when his shot from the left circle went between Bryzgalov's legs.

The Panthers took advantage of defensive breakdowns to score three times in the second period.

Ekblad scored off a 2-on-1 when he took Huberdeau's pass and shot from the slot high to the blocker side. It was the ninth goal of the season for Ekblad, the first pick in the 2014 NHL?????????Draft, who came in leading defensemen with 30 points.

"I was the very late guy (on the rush),"?????????Ekblad said. "I actually didn't expect [Huberdeau] to see me. A?????????lot of forwards in that situation just put it on net, which is as good of a play. But he threw it back. I just got it and tried to shoot as quick as I could. I?????????didn't really try to do too much with it."

After Palmieri made it 3-1 at 7:23 on a 5-on-3 advantage, Barkov restored the three-goal lead on a breakaway.

Bolland scored 22 seconds later after putting home a rebound of a Tomas Fleischmann shot on a 2-on-1 to make it a 5-1 game. The assist was Fleischmann’s 300th NHL point.

After Bolland scored, Boudreau called timeout.

"I was just telling them stay the course and not implode,"?????????Boudreau said. "I know it's disappointing, but you've got to learn to take this sort of thing when it's handed to you and just keep fighting and stay in the game. If you do, usually good things will happen to you.”

Hayes scored a power-play goal at 12:44 of the third period. Defenseman Steven Kampfer had an assist, his first NHL?????????point since March 24, 2012, when he scored as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

Panthers forward Brandon Pirri left the game after sustaining an upper-body injury 17 seconds into his first shift and did not return. Pirri came into the game with six goals in his past eight games. He missed 10 games earlier this season against sustaining a concussion against the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 30.

Anaheim played without defenseman Hampus Lindholm (lower body)???????????????????????????and forward Jakob Silfverberg (illness).

"There was room for improvement from the goaltender, the defense and the forwards,"???????????????????????????Boudreau said. "There's nobody that's safe today, and coaches. We obviously had the wrong combinations together. We're all at fault. We've just got to all dig deep tomorrow and get back at it."

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