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Ducks blanked by Panthers as winless streak reaches six games

Ducks blanked by Panthers as winless streak reaches six games


Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice to pass Olli Jokinen for second place in franchise history, Spencer Knight made 17 saves for his first career shutout, and the Florida Panthers defeated the Ducks 3-0 on Friday night at Honda Center.

Joe Thornton had a goal as Florida (42-14-6), in first place in the Atlantic Division, bounced back after its seven-game point streak ended against Vegas on Thursday, but the Panthers lost defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a lower-body injury in the first period.

Ekblad could not put any weight on his right leg after Aleksander Barkov lost an edge and slid into his teammate along the boards as Ekblad was delivering a hit to Ducks forward Max Comtois just 1:05 into the game. Ekblad leads Panthers defensemen in goals (15) and assists (42) and is fourth on the team in points.

John Gibson gave up three goals on 42 shots, and the Ducks (27-26-11) dropped to 0-4-2 in their last six games.

Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring one of his two goals.

(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Huberdeau scored with 6.9 seconds left in the first period for his 189th goal with the Panthers to pass Jokinen, who had 188 in 567 games with Florida. It was Huberdeau’s second multigoal game this season and the 25th of his career.

Huberdeau opened the scoring with 6:06 left in the first, burying a one-timer from the left circle set up by Sam Reinhart on the power play. He became the sixth Florida player with at least 20 goals this season.

Thornton made it 3-0 at 3:44 of the second, getting his 430th career goal.

The Ducks limped to another defeat with defenseman Hampus Lindholm held out as a healthy scratch with an eye toward Monday’s trade deadline. Lindholm has played his entire nine-year career with the Ducks, but the pending unrestricted free agent is likely to be traded without an agreement on a contract extension.

Ducks center Derek Grant (38) shoots against Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) in the second period March 18, 2022.

Ducks center Derek Grant (38) shoots against Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (52) in the second period.

(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Notes

Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist did not play because of an undisclosed injury. With Hornqvist out, Florida started the game with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … Ducks forward Sam Steel returned after missing three games. He was hit in the face by a puck against Nashville and played with a full face shield.

Up next

Panthers: At Montreal on Thursday night.

Ducks: Host Nashville on Monday night.





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