COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Gustav Forsling contributed a goal and assist and the Florida Panthers scored three times in the third period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Sunday for their third straight win.

Carter Verhaeghe scored for his 200th career point, Aleksander Barkov added a power-play goal, and Matthew Tkachuk and Eetu Luostarinen added empty-net goals. Sam Reinhart had four assist for his 13th multi-point game of the season, and Anthony Stolarz stopped 18 shots for the Panthers, who remain second in the Atlantic Division and won on the road for the fourth time in five games.

“It was a bit of a grinder,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “It was difficult it seems for both team to finish some of the opportunities they had. Both goalies made some good saves.

“We were pretty darn consistent. I don’t think we had a lull."

Yegor Chinakhov scored for his third goal in two games, and Dmitri Voronkov added a goal. Jet Greaves stopped 32 for Columbus, which lost for the fourth time in five games.

Forsling’s goal from the right circle, his first score since Nov. 6, came at 1:02 of the first period, after the Panthers dominated puck possession from the opening face-off.

“We wanted to have a good start to this road trip, and were ready to play the right way here,” Forsling said.

Chinakhov pulled Columbus even off the rush at 7:04, but Florida responded 21 seconds later on its next trip down the ice, with Verhaeghe beating Greaves and extending his streak to five games.

After a scoreless second period, both teams came out aggressive in the third. A hit into the boards by Nick Cousins on Erik Gudbranson was reduced from a major to a minor penalty, and Gudbranson sought retribution on his next shift, resulting in a game misconduct and a seven-minute power-play for Florida.

Barkov capitalized with 37 seconds left in the man advantage to make it 3-1.

“The PK was good,” Blue Jackets coach Pascale Vincent said. “They scored one at the end. That changed everything. It’s a team that doesn’t give much. They don’t get scored against. They’re playing really well defensively. They went to the finals last year for a reason. They can play those moments and be successful at it. Obviously a two-goal difference at that moment is a big difference.”

Columbus pulled Greaves with 4:36 left in the game, and less than a minute later Voronkov pulled the Blue Jackets within one.

Greaves left the bench again with just over two minutes left in the period, but Tkachuk made Columbus pay with an empty-netter at 18:05. Luostarinen scored in the empty net 54 seconds later.


Panthers: Visit Seattle Tuesday.

Blue Jackets: Visit Toronto Thursday.



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