Carter Verhaeghe and rookie Anton Lundell each scored twice and MacKenzie Weegar matched the franchise record for points by a defenseman with a shorthanded goal and three assists in the Florida Panthers 9-2 dismantling of the Columbus Blue Jackets at FLA Live Arena.
The Panthers easily swept its three-game homestand, outscoring the Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars and Blue Jackets by a combined 21-5. The en fuego Gatos are 8-0-1 since returning from the holiday break.
Florida’s second line of Anthony Duclair, Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett each collected a goal and an assist during the rout. Duclair’s power-play one-timer came at the 2:07 mark, just 1:21 after Verhaeghe scooped the puck into an open net to open the scoring on a scrambley play 46 seconds into the game.
Fourth line sparkplug Ryan Lomberg also produced a goal and a helper. Aaron Ekblad racked up three assists, Sam Reinhart had two, and Aleksander Barkov, Eetu Luostarinen and Patric Hornqvist each had one.
After beating Dallas on Friday, Sergei Bobrovsky got the call against Columbus and stopped 28 of 30 to pick up his 19th win. Bobrovsky is a sterling 15-1 at home this season.
Gustav Nyquist got a rebound to go for a power-play goal early in third period to make it 6-1 and Boone Jenner completed the scoring with his 15th goal.
Starter Elvis Merzlikins left the building (well, the ice) 13:28 into the first after giving up four goals…