Panthers Fall 2-1 to Blue Jackets

The Florida Panthers suffered their sixth loss in seven games to the Blue Jackets Thursday night.

Panthers scored the first goal of the game with 1:45 left in the first quarter, when Jonathan Marchessault chipped the puck in top shelf, with assists to Thomas Vanek and Alex Petrovic.

Columbus then tied up the game at 4:05 in the second, when Zach Werenski with an assist from Josh Anderson made a shot from the far left side of the ice and caught Jack Reimer looking for his 11th.

“That gave us a boost for sure,” Anderson said. “In the first period, we were … a little sloppy. We cleaned it up in the second period. We just went to work. We have to catch a couple of other teams in the standings. Going down to these last 15 games, every team is going to be gunning for each other, and it’s going to be a battle every night.”

What was surprising is, even though the Columbus forward suffered a lower body injury less than a week ago, there was no sign of it in last night’s game.

Not only did Anderson assist with a goal, but he scored the Blue Jackets’ game winning goal with 39 seconds left on the clock in the second, off of a blue-line shot from Jack Johnson.

Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 33 saves for his NHL-leading 38th win and Panthers James Reimer stopped 32 shots.

“They played their hearts out,” Panthers general manager and interim coach Tom Rowe said. “They know what’s on the line. We just have to keep fighting until the end.”

The Panthers are now seven points out of a playoff spot with just 13 games remaining.

Their next game is at the New York Rangers on Friday night.

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