EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Sergei Bobrovsky was once a shutout machine. It had been a while since the Florida Panthers goaltender last had a clean sheet.
Bobrovsky made 40 saves for his first shutout of the season and the Panthers beat the ice-cold Edmonton Oilers 6-0 Thursday night.
”He was dialled in right from the start and made huge saves for us all night long and kept us in the game until we finally got our footing under us a little bit and started to play better,” Florida forward Carter Verhaeghe said. ”He was the best player on the ice by far. He made some unbelievable saves on the penalty kill and all night long and really kept us in it.”
Bobrovsky’s previous shutout was Nov. 2, 2019, for Florida against Detroit.
”We worked together,” the 33-year-old said. ”The guys had timely blocked shots and helped a lot in the D zone. It was a great six people effort in the first period and the whole game long. It was definitely fun to be a part of it.”
Aleksander Barkov had two goals and an assist for the Panthers (27-8-5), who improved to 9-1-1 in their last 11 games.
Verhaeghe, Anthony Duclair, Sam Bennett and Owen Tippett also scored for Florida.
Mikko Koskinen stopped 22 shots as the Oilers (18-16-2) lost their seventh straight. Edmonton has a 2-11-2 record in its last 15 games, and disgruntled fans threw Oilers jerseys on the ice after Tippett’s late goal made it 6-0.
”This right here, it’s a test for all the leaders on our team,” Oilers alternate captain Darnell Nurse said. ”Getting out of this is what’s going to make our team better. There’s no excuse. No `fountain of tricks.’ You’ve got to show up every day with your hard hat on – that’s the only way to get out of this.”
Florida got on the board first, scoring a power-play goal about 5 1/2 minutes into the second period. Sam Reinhart chipped a puck over splayed defender Darnell Nurse to Barkov, who fired home his 16th of the season.
Verhaeghe was left alone in front of the net and unleashed a bullet to the top corner for his 14th of the season near the midpoint of the game to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Barkov added to Florida’s lead seven minutes into the third when his long shot found its way through a screen. The Panthers made it 4-0 with Duclair’s power-play goal with four minutes left in the final period.
Just over a minute later, the Panthers got another power-play goal when Bennett sent a backhand shot off the post and in for his 17th as well. Tippett added his fifth goal of the season just over a minute later.
NOTES: Florida is 20-0 when leading after the second period. … The Oilers have scored two goals or fewer in 10 of their last 15 games. … Missing from the Florida lineup were Patric Hornqvist (upper body) and Gustav Forsling (COVID-19 protocols). … Out for the Oilers were Mike Smith (thumb) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (lower body), as well as Zach Hyman, Kyle Turris and Stuart Skinner (COVID-19 protocols). … With two goalies out for Edmonton, Ilya Konovalov was brought up from the taxi squad to serve as backup to Koskinen.
Panthers: At Vancouver on Friday.
Oilers: Host Calgary on Saturday.
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