SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — When the Florida Panthers go to a shootout, look out for Aleksander Barkov.
The Finnish center scored the only goal in the tiebreaker on Saturday night, lifting the Panthers to a 2-1 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Barkov beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a backhander. He also scored the winning shootout goal last Sunday against the New York Rangers. He went 5 for 6 in the shootout last season.
“Last year we won a lot of games in the shootout and that’s why we won the division,” Barkov said.
Barkov hasn’t scored in regulation since Oct. 15, a 19-game drought.
“Of course, I want to score in the 60 minutes, but if that’s the only chance I can score, then I’m going to use it,” Barkov said.
Florida’s Roberto Luongo stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout.
Jaromir Jagr scored his 752nd career goal for the Panthers, who won for the fifth time in seven games, and Luongo made 36 saves for his fifth win in six starts. The Panthers are 4-0 in overtime and 2-1 in shootouts this season.
“We’re a confident group when we get to extra time that we can get the job done, whether that’s 3-on-3 or even the shootout,” Luongo said. “We carried the play in overtime.”
Brandon Saad scored for the Blue Jackets, and Bobrovsky stopped 22 shots.
The Blue Jackets played five games in the past seven days, recording at least a point in four of them.
“To hang in there, stick in there in the third period and find a way to score a goal, get a point, we’ll go home feeling pretty good about ourselves the way we grinded away here in a busy week,” coach John Tortorella said.
Saad tied it at 1 with 7:10 left in the third. The rugged forward backhanded the puck past Luongo for his sixth of the season.
“The puck fell right in my lap there so I got it quick to the net,” Saad said.
The Panthers jumped in front with 3:15 left in the first. Barkov passed from behind the goal line to Jagr low in the left circle. Jagr’s shot went off the heel of his stick but he got enough on it to slide under the pads of Bobrovsky.
“We don’t need pretty goals. We just need goals,” Jagr said. “It was obviously a big goal in the game with a low-scoring game tonight.”
It was Jagr’s third goal this season and second in four games.
NOTES: The Blue Jackets promoted C Justin Scott from Cleveland of the AHL and placed LW Matt Calvert (upper body) on injured reserve. Scott was a healthy scratch along with D Scott Harrington. … Shawn Thornton’s assist on Jagr’s goal was his first point this season.
Blue Jackets: Host Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday
Panthers: Visit Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday in the opener of a season-long six-game road trip.
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