Barkov, Reimer Help Panthers Top Sabres For Fifth Straight

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov scored his 24th goal of the season, James Reimer made 24 saves in his first start in six games and the surging Florida Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night.

The Panthers have won five straight and are 12-3-0 in their past 15. They began the night three points behind Columbus for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Colton Sceviour, Aaron Ekblad and Mike Matheson also scored for the Panthers, and Evgenii Dadanov had two assists.

Sam Reinhart scored for the Sabres, and Robin Lehner made 26 saves.

Barkov stretched the Panthers’ lead to 3-1 when he flipped the puck over Lehner’s shoulder at 6:49 of the second period. Barkov has six goals and nine assists in his past 10 games and is tied with Vincent Trocheck for the team lead in goals.

Sceviour made it 4-1 when he poked in a rebound with 8:44 left in the second.

Ekblad put the Panthers ahead 2-1 after he took a cross-ice pass from Keith Yandle in the right circle and wristed it past Lehner with 3:19 left in the first.

Matheson gave Florida a 1-0 lead 1:25 in when he corralled the puck in the high slot and fired a shot that beat Lehner on the stick side. The goal was Matheson’s ninth but first on home ice.

Reinhart tied the score at 1 when he swept the puck in from the right side at 5:34 of the first.

NOTES: The Panthers have scored first in 11 of their past 13 games. … Reinhart has 21 points in his past 21 games. … Sabres forward Kyle Okposo returned after missing Wednesday’s game at Tampa Bay due to the birth of his third child.


Sabres: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Panthers: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Patrik Laine scored his 32rd and 33rd goals of the season to help the Winnipeg Jets beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3.

Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Chiarot also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his 33rd victory of the season. Winnipeg has won six of its last eight games to improve to 38-17-9.

Niklas Kronwall, Anthony Mantha and Trevor Daley scored for Detroit, and Jimmy Howard stopped 38 shots.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams scored in the third period and Carolina overcame yet another goal by New Jersey’s Taylor Hall.

Teravainen’s redirection at 9:37 of the third period made it 2-1, and Williams added an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining. Derek Ryan also scored and Cam Ward stopped 25 shots to help Carolina to its second straight win since dropping six straight.

The Hurricanes temporarily pulled into a tie with Columbus for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. The Blue Jackets were set to play Anaheim later Friday.

Hall’s second-period goal extended his point streak to 24 games. He has scored in six of his last seven games, and 17 of his 29 goals have come since Jan. 1.


NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Galchenyuk completed his hat trick shortly after Paul Byron and Noah Juulsen scored 1:43 apart in the third period, lifting Montreal over New York.

Galchenyuk scored his third goal into an empty net with 49 seconds left and also had an assist. Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal, which improved to 24-29-10 with its second straight win.

Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.

Montreal’s Charlie Lindgren stopped 32 shots.