SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)Sam Bennett scored two goals to lift the Florida Panthers over the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 on Thursday night.

Aleksander Barkov scored his 200th NHL goal and 500th NHL point, and had an assist, and Mason Marchment had an empty-net goal. Spencer Knight made 24 saves for the Panthers, who improved to 22-3-0 at home.

Zach Whitecloud had the lone goal for Vegas, which had a three-game point streak come to an end. Robin Lehner stopped 28 shots.

Whitecloud gave Vegas a 1-0 lead when he fired the puck from the right circle over Knight’s right shoulder at 7:51 of the first.

Barkov tied the score at 1 on his shorthanded goal, a shot from the right circle that got past Lehner.

Bennett put the Panthers ahead 2-1 with a wrister from above the left circle that bounced off Lehner’s shoulder and into the net 1:18 into the second. The goal was the 19th this season for Bennett, a career high.

Marchment added an empty-net goal with 53.9 seconds left to make the score 3-1, and Bennett’s second goal came with an empty net with 28.3 left to stretch the lead to 4-1.

NOTES: Panthers D Gustav Forsling played his 200th NHL game. … Vegas F Max Pacioretty played his first game since Dec. 28th after to wrist surgery. … RW Reilly Smith returned after missing two games due to the NHL COVID-19 protocol, after appearing in the first 41 games.


Golden Knights: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Panthers: Host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

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