SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves to tie for the NHL lead with six shutouts, Sam Reinhart scored his 54th goal and the Florida Panthers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Thursday night.

“The guys worked hard,” Bobrovsky said. “Sometimes, it's not easy to play in those games, you know? But I thought the guys did a great job. They did the right things, played a great game and had a lot of offense.”

Bobrovsky, who has 44 career shutouts, is tied with Arizona's Connor Ingram and Pittsburgh's Tristan Jarry for the most this season.

“We're all very happy for him,” Vladimir Tarasenko said. “He is one of the best goalies in the world and he is playing very well.”

Matthew Tkachuk, Evan Rodrigues and Tarasenko also scored for the Panthers, who moved within a point of the idle Boston Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists after missing Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators to rest.

Florida has one fewer game on its schedule than Boston while holding a 40-35 lead in regulation wins, the top tiebreaker.

Jet Greaves stopped 42 shots for the Blue Jackets, who are mathematically locked into the fourth-best odds in the upcoming NHL draft lottery.

“They were the better team for 60 minutes. There is no doubt about that,” Columbus defenseman Erik Gudbranson said. “We could've done a lot better tonight. We didn't manage the puck very well through the neutral zone and they three-quarter iced us the whole game.”


The Panthers honored longtime Columbus play-by-play announcer Jeff Rimer - the franchise's original TV voice when it was founded in 1993 - with a video tribute during his final game in South Florida before his pending retirement.

Rimer was a part of Florida's broadcast for 11 years (1993-2004) before spending the last 20 years of his 47-year broadcasting career in the Blue Jackets' booth.


Blue Jackets: Visit Nashville on Saturday night.

Panthers: Host Buffalo on Saturday night.



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