SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – It didn’t take long for Columbus defenseman Seth Jones to go on offense.
Jones scored 18 seconds into overtime and the Blue Jackets defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.
Jones’ overtime goal was his seventh, the most regular-season overtime goals among defensemen since the 2013-14 season, tying him with Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Pierre-Luc Dubois made a pass from his knees from the left side to Jones in the right circle, and his shot beat Reimer on the glove side in the opening minute of the extra period.
“He (Dubois) makes a heck of a play on his knees to get it to me and I just tried to bury it,” Jones said. “Luc made the entire play.”
Dubois was tripped up on the play, but was still able to get the pass off.
“I think if I did it another 10 times, I wouldn’t get it,” Dubois said. “He (Jones) is a defenseman, but he seems to have that forward approach where he can sniff offensive situations and find open space and read off the players he’s on the ice with. He’s a D, but he can find those opportunities like a forward.”
Brandon Dubinsky, Josh Anderson and Anthony Duclair also scored for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves. The Blue Jackets have won seven of their past nine games.
Aaron Ekblad, Mike Hoffman and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Panthers. Keith Yandle had two assists. James Reimer stopped 31 shots. The Panthers are winless in their last seven games against Columbus (0-5-2).
“We had a lot of great parts in the game, a lot of great pushes, but the one big mistake keeps haunting us,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “We’ve got to get better at that.”
With the score tied 2-all, the Blue Jackets took a 3-2 lead at 6:58 of the third. Dubinsky got the puck away from a Panthers defenseman, skated in along the boards, and got the puck by Reimer on a shot from the right circle.
The Panthers tied the score at 3 on Ekblad’s goal. He backhanded the puck between Bobrovsky’s pads with 2:13 left in the third.
“We had more than one chance to win that game,” Ekblad said. “We fought our way back into overtime but it’s not enough. Every point’s important. Not satisfied with that one point, but it’s good to have it.”
Trailing 2-1, the Blue Jackets tied the game at 2 with 2:56 left in the second. A shot by Boone Jenner bounced off Reimer and into the air, and Anderson batted it in.
The Blue Jackets went ahead 1-0 on Duclair’s goal 1:37 in. Duclair skated in on a breakaway and fired a wrist shot past Reimer.
The Panthers tied it 1-all when Huberdeau took a feed from Aleksander Barkov and scored on a shot past Bobrovsky at 13:19 of the first. Yandle recorded his 500th career point on the play.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead with 1:51 left in the first after Hoffman blasted a shot from the top of the left circle that got by Bobrovsky before he could react. Hoffman leads the Panthers with 20 goals.
NOTES: Panthers D MacKenzie Weegar played in his 100th NHL game. … D Chris Wideman played his first game for the Panthers after being acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. … Blue Jackets LW Nick Foligno missed his third consecutive game to be with his daughter, who is recovering from surgery.
Blue Jackets: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Panthers: Visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.
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