Ducks are faded out by Panthers as winning 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 at the Honda Center on Friday night.

Joe Thornton had a goal as Florida (42-14-6), first in the Atlantic Division, rebounded after ending its seven-game scoring streak against Vegas on Thursday, but the Panthers lost defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a lower body Injuries in the first period.

Ekblad was unable to put weight on his right leg after Aleksander Barkov lost an edge and slipped the boards into his teammates as Ekblad delivered a goal against Ducks forward Max Comtois just 1:05 into the game. Ekblad leads the Panthers’ defenders in goals (15) and assists (42) and is fourth on the team on points.

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

Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first period March 18, 2022.

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

(Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

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

Huberdeau opened the scoring at 6:06 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 and scored his 430th career goal.

The Ducks limped to another defeat, with defender Hampus Lindholm proving to be a healthy scratch heading into Monday’s close. Lindholm has played his entire nine-year career with the Ducks, but the upcoming 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 half on March 18, 2022.

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

(Ashley Landis/Associated Press)


Panthers forward Patric Hornqvist was not available due to an undisclosed injury. Without Hornqvist, Florida started the game with 11 forwards and seven defenders. … 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.


Panthers: In Montreal on Thursday night.

Ducks: host Nashville on Monday night. Ducks are faded out by Panthers as winning streak reaches six games

Andrew Schnitker

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