Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Panthers get win, more injuries

SUNRISE — Jonathan Marchessault scored in the third period, James Reimer made 26 saves and the Panthers beat the Predators 2-1 on Friday night.

Greg McKegg also scored for the Panthers, and Jaromir Jagr got his 1,137th career assist on Marchessault's 12th goal of the season.

The game was played as scheduled despite the BB&T Center being about 20 miles from the Fort Lauderdale airport, where a gunman killed five people and injured eight earlier in the day. The Panthers decided to play after it was determined that the shooting was an isolated occurrence and the safety of fans attending the game wouldn't be compromised, team executive chairman Peter Luukko said.

The Panthers held a moment of silence before the game. The arena was darkened, and the airport code FLL was illuminated on the scoreboard.

Craig Smith scored for Nashville, which beat the Lightning 6-1 the night before, and Juuse Saros made 32 saves. The Predators have lost five of their past seven games.

Reimer got the start after Roberto Luongo experienced upper-body discomfort during warmups. Luongo then left the bench during the first period and was ruled out for the game. Bobby Segin, a former UConn goalie and now an account executive for the Panthers, was the emergency goalie.

Florida, hit hard by injuries all season, also lost center Nick Bjugstad early in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Around the league: Nazem Kadri sparked the Maple Leafs' four-goal first period with a power-play score and Toronto got its sixth win in seven games (6-0-1), 4-2 over the host Devils. Auston Matthews, the first overall pick in last year's draft, scored his 21st goal of the season. Since ending a 13-game drought on Nov. 23, Matthews has a league-high 15 goals (in 19 games).

Around the league: The Bruins, scheduled to play the Panthers today in Sunrise, had their plane diverted to Miami International Airport because of the Fort Lauderdale shooting. They landed around 5 p.m.

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