SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) –Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 shots for his third shutout of the season, leading the Florida Panthers to a 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Aleksander Barkov scored twice, Gustav Forsling had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Lomberg scored his fourth goal in three games as the Panthers won their 28th home game, a club record for a season.
Jonathan Huberdeau recorded his 71st assist, an NHL record for assists by a left winger. Huberdeau has 94 points, tied with Pavel Bure. He is closing in on the club record of 96 set by Barkov in the 2018-19 season.
The Panthers could clinch a playoff berth as early as Saturday.
Collin Delia stopped 40 shots for the Blackhawks, who lost their third straight game.
Barkov’s second goal extended the Panthers’ lead to 4-0. On a 5-on-3 power play, Barkov caught a pass from Huberdeau in the right circle and beat Delia with 6:13 left in the game.
Lomberg gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead when he received a pass from Joe Thornton, skated and beat Delia on the glove side at 7:23 of the second.
Forsling’s shot from the point went through traffic and into the net to make it 3-0 with 8:14 left in the second. The goal survived a challenge from a Chicago coach for goalie interference.
Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with 1:36 left in the first quarter when he stuffed the puck during a scrum in front of the Chicago net.
The Panthers were denied a goal after 41 seconds when it was ruled Barkov kicked the puck with his skate.
SIX WITH 20
The Panthers have six 20-goal scorers for the first time. Only seven teams in the last 25 years have seen more than six players score as many goals. Detroit (2005-06) had eight. New Jersey (2000-01), San Jose (2010-11), Philadelphia (2013-14), Toronto (2018-19) and Washington (2008-09 and 2018-19) all had seven.
REMARKS: Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews played his 1,000th NHL game. Toews is the 366th NHL player to reach the milestone and Chicago’s eighth player. … FanDuel Sportsbook currently lists Florida as the second betting choice to win the Stanley Cup, behind only Colorado. … It was the start of Chicago’s second-to-last consecutive season. The Blackhawks visit Arizona on April 20 and Los Angeles on April 21. …
Blackhawks: Visit Tampa Bay on Friday.
Panthers: Visit New Jersey on Saturday.