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Kevin Lankinen, Predators shutout Panthers

Mar 21, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) looks on after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Filip Forsberg scored two goals and dished one assist, and backup goalie Kevin Lankinen posted a shutout, leading the Nashville Predators to a record-breaking 3-0 win over the host Florida Panthers on Thursday night in Sunrise.

The Predators (41-25-4, 86 points) set a franchise mark with their 16th consecutive game earning at least one point. Nashville, which has won four straight games, is 14-0-2 during its points streak.

Lankinen, making just his 14th start of the season, made 33 saves, improving his record to 10-4-0. It was his first shutout since his rookie season of 2020-2021.

This was a sweet victory for Predators coach Andrew Brunette, who was Florida’s interim boss during the 2021-2022 season.

Gustav Nyquist scored the other goal and added an assist for Nashville, which started its points streak after an embarrassing 9-2 home loss to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 15.

Forsberg leads the Predators in goals (38) and points (77).

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who leads the Eastern Conference with 32 wins, made 34 saves in a losing effort.

Florida (45-20-4, 94 points) played without star center Aleksander Barkov and top-four defenseman Aaron Ekblad, both due to injuries. In addition, defenseman Dmitry Kulikov sat out the game due to an NHL suspension.

The Panthers, who have lost three straight games, went 0-for-2 on their power play. Their losing streak is their longest since dropping four consecutive games from Jan. 13-19.

Nashville, which outshot the Panthers 14-5 in the first period, opened the scoring with 2:13 left in the opening 20 minutes. Initially, Forsberg was stopped by Bobrovsky at close range. But the Predators kept digging, and Nyquist, who had set a screen, turned and knocked in a rebound of another Forsberg shot for the goal.

The Predators made it 2-0 in the second period after Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was penalized for hooking Jason Zucker. On the ensuing power play, Tyson Barrie floated a long-range shot toward the net, and Forsberg was there for the deflection goal.

Nashville extended its lead to 3-0 with 5:41 left in the third as a shot by Nyquist went in off Forsberg’s skate.

–Field Level Media

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