SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored in the third period, James Reimer made 28 saves and the Florida Panthers beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Friday night.
Greg McKegg also scored for the Panthers, and Jaromir Jagr got his 1,137th career assist on Marchessault’s 12th goal of the season.
The Panthers held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the shooting earlier in the day at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
Craig Smith scored for Nashville, and Juuse Saros stopped 32 shots. The Predators have lost five of their last seven games.
Marchessault gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead when his shot from along the boards just outside the right circle got past Saros with 9:53 left in the third.
Nashville had tied it at 1 at 5:03 when Smith took a pass from Mike Ribeiro below the right circle and put it over Reimer’s glove.
Reimer got the start in goal when Roberto Luongo experienced some upper-body discomfort during warmups. Luongo then left the bench during the first period and was ruled out for the game. Bobby Segin, a former UConn goalie and now an account executive for the Panthers, was the emergency goalie.
The arena was darkened during the pregame moment of silence and the airport code FLL was illuminated on the scoreboard.
The team decided to play the game after it was determined that the shooting was an isolated incident and the safety of fans attending the game wouldn’t be compromised, according to Panthers executive chairman Peter Luukko.
The Panthers jumped in front McKegg’s goal at 2:24 of the first. The puck came off the boards to McKegg in front and he backhanded it high into the net for his second goal in two games.
NOTES: Panthers C Nick Bjugstad left early in the first period with a lower-body injury. … Panthers C Colton Sceviour returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury. … The Panthers recalled LW Jared McCann from Springfield of the AHL to take the place of LW Seth Griffith (concussion). … Predators LW and leading scorer James Neal missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.
Predators: Visit Chicago on Sunday.
Panthers: Host Boston on Saturday.
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