Sunrise, Fla. (AP) — Sam Reinhart had two goals and an assist and handed the Florida Panthers their first regulation loss in 10 games to Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau in a 5-2 win Tuesday night.
Boudreau was 8-0-1 since capturing the Canucks on 6 December. Vancouver was 8-15-2 when he replaced Travis Green.
“There were a lot of things that we didn’t do well,” Boudreau said. “It’s never fun when you lose, it just brought us a little down to earth.”
Alexander Barkov scored the 15th goal in his team’s lead and also made an assist for Florida. Aaron Eckblad scored one goal and made two assists, Maxim Mamin also scored, and Frank Watrano and Anton Lundell made two assists each. Sergei Bobrovsky intercepted 42 shots.
“I don’t think we’re doing anything special,” Reinhart said. “I think we’re playing a very simple game aggressively. We’re all on the same page and we’re being dominant. It’s a fun team to be part of. We really feed off each other.” Huh.”
The Panthers lead 6-0-1 in their last seven matches.
“This is how our group played,” said interim coach Andrew Brunet. “I am benefiting from the way he has played throughout the year. I am very fortunate to be in this position. I am very grateful for the opportunity, but it is a team thing. I ride I’m ready for.”
Jason Dickinson and Juho Lamiko and Thatcher Demko blocked 21 shots for Vancouver.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead and scored twice in the second with a gap of 26 seconds. Huberdeau’s power-play goal gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead at 8:46, and Mamin’s goal extended the Panthers’ lead to 4-1.
Barkov scored a short-handed goal on the breakaway with 59.4 left in the second.
“He has a great job of sticking in front of the net, he gets his stick on everything,” Boudreau said. “They’re a good team. You can’t pass up opportunities. If you blink, they can score.”
Ekblad gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead when his shot from just inside the blue line beat Demko to an earlier 5:18 on the glove side.
Reinhart’s goal 1:08 later – a deflection of a shot from the blue line by Radko Gudas – reduced the score to 2-0.
Dickinson closed the Canucks 2-1 when his shot from the left circle hit Bobrovsky, with 8:29 left in the first.
There have been five in-season coaching changes in the NHL this season, and this game marked the first time two replacement coaches had faced each other.
Brunet will coach the Atlantic Division All-Star team at the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas from February 4-5. … Tuesday’s game was exactly two years and two days after the Panthers’ most recent appearance in Vancouver on home ice, a 5-2 win in Florida on January 9, 2020. …This is the second time Florida has won 50-plus. Points through 36 games. The second was in 1995–96, the season in which the Panthers went to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Canucks: Take a trip to Tampa Bay on a Thursday.
Panthers: Host Dallas on Friday.