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Panthers continue stumbling as Lankinen, visiting Predators toss shutout

By COLBY GUY (Associated Press)

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored twice and the Nashville Predators extended their point streak to a franchise-record 16 games with a 3-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

“We’re putting in the work and that’s the biggest thing,” Forsberg said. “We knew this was going to be a big test and we came out ready to skate with one of the faster teams in the league. I thought we outskated them tonight and that’s something we want to keep working on.”

Nashville eclipsed its 15-game point streak (14-0-1) set from Feb. 17, 2018, to March 19, 2018.

“We played probably the best team in the league tonight and I thought we played our game,” Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said. “We stayed true to us. We’re building for this kind of success as we go forward.”

Gustav Nyqvist also scored and Kevin Lankinen made 33 saves as the Predators strengthened their hold on the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves for the Panthers, who were shut out for the second time in three games.

Florida lost its third straight game in regulation for the first time this season. The Panthers are in second place in the Atlantic Division.

“We’re a rush team without speed right now, which wouldn’t relate to the team that you’ve seen in the past,” coach Paul Maurice said. “But you’re as good as your last game.”

The Panthers were without captain Sasha Barkov, who was out due to a lower-body injury.

“He’s right there,” Maurice said before the game. “The medical guys are going to make a decision on what they think another day will do. And if we think it’s going to give him a 5% boost, that’s a big number for us and we’re going to think about holding him one more.

“It’s nothing sinister. … He’s played with it and we’ve had this real upturn and it’s getting way better really fast and we want to keep that going.”

Florida’s Aaron Ekblad missed his fourth consecutive game with a lower-body injury. He began skating on Monday and was said to be “day-to-day” after missing two weeks from a knee-to-knee hit with teammate Vladimir Tarasenko on March 9.


Predators: Host Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Panthers: Visit New York Rangers on Saturday.


NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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