Reinhart, Bobrovsky lead Panthers past skidding Devils 4-2

Dec 17, 2022, 5:37 AM | Updated: 9:00 pm

Florida Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal aga...

Florida Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday Dec. 17, 2022, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Sam Reinhart scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves as the Florida Panthers beat New Jersey 4-2 Saturday night, handing the first-place Devils their fifth straight loss.

Gustav Forsling and Carter Verhaege also scored and Aaron Ekblad had two assists for Florida, which beat New Jersey for the fifth time in six meetings and improved to 4-1-0 in its last five visits to Prudential Center. Bobrovsky, making his sixth straight start, got his 343rd career victory and improved to 18-5-1 against the Devils.

“I feel good, I’ve got some rhythm,” said the 34-year-old Bobrovsky, who is third among active goaltenders in wins. “The guys did a great job to compete. We are building chemistry.”

Erik Haula had a goal and an assist and John Marino also scored for the Devils, who are 0-4-1 on their current skid. Akira Schmid finished with 25 saves.

“Our group as a whole has to be better,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “We didn’t have enough puck management.”

Reinhart gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 8:54 of the first period, finishing off a passing sequence with Aleksander Barkov and Ekblad. Barkov didn’t play the final two periods after sustaining an undisclosed injury in the first.

Forsling made it 2-0 at 7:49 of the second with his fifth goal of the season,

Marino got the Devils on the board with 8:33 left in the middle period, firing a long shot past Bobrovsky for this third. Jack Hughes had an assist on the play, increasing his team lead to 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists).

Reinhart restored the two-goal margin with 41 seconds remaining in the second, tipping a shot by Ekblad past Schmid for his 11th goal of the season.

“To get one early was key,” Ekblad said. “We got our lead and found a way to protect it.”

Haula pulled the Devils to 3-2 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the third with his second goal of the season, but Verhaeghe’s empty-netter — for his team-leading 16th goal — with 1:11 left sealed the Panthers’ win.

“I’m really proud of our team. We fought hard,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “And our goaltender was really good.”

The Devils have a challenging stretch ahead with a visits to Carolina and Florida followed by two straight home games against league-best Boston before and after the Christmas break.

Ruff expressed confidence that his team’s slump can be solved by focusing on what made them so successful the first two months of the season – generating offense from effective defense.

“Our strength is how we play defensively,” Ruff said. “We can’t get away from it. That’s been the backbone of our team.”


New Jersey has totaled just four goals in its last three games, all defeats at home — including 2-1 to Philadelphia on Thursday and 4-1 to Dallas on Tuesday. Before that, the Devils lost 4-3 in overtime at the New York Rangers on Monday and started their losing streak with a 6-4 loss at home to the Islanders last Friday night. They had won 21 of 24 after losing their first two games of the season before their current skid.

New Jersey’s hold on first place in the Metropolitan Division was reduced to two points following Carolina’s overtime win over Dallas on Saturday.


Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton played in his 700th career game.


Panthers: At Boston on Monday night.

Devils: At Carolina on Tuesday night.


AP NHL: www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Reinhart, Bobrovsky lead Panthers past skidding Devils 4-2