Panthers pick up 10th straight victory


Jonathan Huberdeau set up Florida’s first goal and then put an exclamation point on the Panthers’ franchise-record 10th straight win with a fantastic breakaway goal.

Jaromir Jagr scored his team-leading 14th goal, and Derek Mackenzie, Brandon Pirri and Corban Knight also scored as Florida beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 Tuesday night.

Roberto Luongo made 31 saves to improve his career record against Buffalo to 18-7.

Sprung behind the defense by Aleksander Barkov’s cutting pass, Hubeardeau’s initial deke moved Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark well out of position before tucking the puck into the open net with 3:54 to go. That stretched Florida’s lead to 4-1.

“We’re just having fun right now,” Huberdeau said. “I ran a breakaway, tried a move and it worked.”

Pirri added an empty-net goal with 1:21 remaining to round out the scoring.

The Panthers opened the scoring when Huberdeau skated the puck across the Sabres’ zone before sliding it across to Jagr. The 43-year-old fired a shot past Ullmark to make it 1-0.

“You could say it’s hard to believe at 43 he’s playing that great but knowing him it’s not hard to believe,” Huberdeau said of Jagr . “His work ethic is incredible. We’re just lucky to have him around us.”

The Atlantic Division-leading Panthers aren’t thinking about losing anytime soon.

“We’re trying not to think too much about the streak,” Huberdeau said. “Ten, might as well just keep going and win every game.”

Ryan O’Reilly scored for the Sabres, who have lost five straight games in regulation and fell to 0-4-1 in their last five home games.

And the losses are weighing on Buffalo, which is again in the race for a lottery pick despite a major roster overhaul.

“I don’t think our pushback was there in the third period where it needed to be,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “They got the third goal, and I thought we really sagged after that.”

Capitals 3, Bruins 2

In Boston, Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist and Washington beat the Bruins to end a season-high two-game skid.

Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals, who beat Boston for the fourth straight time and moved into the NHL lead with 61 points.

Blackhawks 3, Penguins 2

In Pittsburgh, Artemi Panarin beat Marc-Andre Fleury 3:47 into overtime.

Rangers 6, Stars 2

In New York, Derek Stepan scored two goals and Ricky Nash had three assists to lead the Rangers past Western Conference-leading Dallas.

Wild 4, Blue Jackets 2

In Columbus, Zach Parise scored his fourth career hat trick, and second this season.

Flyers 4, Canadiens 3

In Philadelphia, Brayden Schenn had a goal and two assists to help the Flyers snap a three-game losing streak.

Flames 3, Lightning 1

In Calgary, Matt Stajan and David Jones gave the Flames the lead, and Karri Ramo stopped 30 shots.

Jets 4, Predators 1

In Nashville, Drew Stafford scored a pair of power-play goals.