SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — James Reimer tied a season high with 46 saves to lead the Florida Panthers over the Boston Bruins 3-0 on Thursday night.
Making his first start in six games, Reimer earned his third shutout of the season. Nick Bjugstad had a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad also scored. Evgenii Dadonov added two assists.
Florida moved within three points of idle New Jersey for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers, who have won 11 of their last 13 home games, have two games in hand on the Devils.
Anton Khudobin stopped 25 shots for the Bruins, shut out for the first time since their second game of the season, a 4-0 loss to Colorado on Oct. 9. The Bruins are four points behind Atlantic Division leader Tampa Bay, with one game in hand on the Lightning.
The Panthers stretched their lead to 3-0 on a power-play goal by Trocheck with 5:53 left in the second period. Trocheck’s shot from the right circle went top shelf shot over Khudobin. Trocheck leads the team with 27 goals.
Aleksander Barkov’s assist gave him 70 points, making him the first Panthers player since Olli Jokinen (71) in 2007-08 with 70 points in a season.
Ekblad made it 1-0 at 6:25 of the first when he swatted in a rebound out of midair past Khudobin. Dadonov made a cross-ice pass to Bjugstad in front and he pushed in the puck to make it 2-0 at 9:06.
Bruins forward David Backes was assessed a match penalty for a first-period hit from behind on Trocheck.
NOTES: Bruins D Zdeno Chara and LW Jake DeBrusk both missed the game with upper-body injuries sustained in Tuesday’s 6-4 win at Carolina. Boston recalled forward Anton Blidh and defenseman Paul Postma from Providence of the AHL. … Panthers D Alexander Petrovic was scratched with a lower-body injury. … C Frank Vatrano faced his former team for the first time since being traded from the Bruins to the Panthers on Feb. 22.
Bruins: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Panthers: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
(Copyright (c) 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)