Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Panthers Chase Markstrom with Quick Goals, Beat Canucks 4-3

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Panthers Chase Markstrom with Quick Goals, Beat Canucks 4-3

Article excerpt

Bjugstad, Panthers beat Canucks 4-3

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VANCOUVER - The Florida Panthers won in Vancouver Wednesday night but their hearts were back home.

Many of the Panther players were emotional after their 4-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks, their thoughts focused on the massacre at a high school near the team's practice facility. At least 17 people were killed in the shooting at Parkland, Fla.

"It was tough," said Jamie McGinn, who scored a power-play goal in the win. "You turn on the TV in the afternoon . . . and it's close to home. This is where a lot of the guys, they have young kids now, but when they get older that's the high school they will be going to, so it affected our team.

"It's a sad world we live in right now."

Captain Derek Mackenzie's voice cracked with emotion when talking to reporters.

"I think it goes to show the character in the room," he said. "We talked about getting two points and kind of dedicating this win to everybody back home.

"What can I say? It's a sad day. I wish I was there right now to talk to my family and neighbours and everyone that has been affected by this. But we can't be there so the next best thing is come back and win."

Florida gave up a goal just 32 seconds into the game and trailed 2-1 with just over eight minutes gone in the first period. The Panthers battled back with three straight goals before the period ended, the last two just 1:11 apart.

"I don't know if it was one of our best games, but you give credit to the guys, given the circumstances today," said MacKenzie.

"I thought we had a bit of a sluggish start, probably for a lot of reasons, then kind of settled in and tried to control emotions and came up with two points."

Nick Bjugstad led the Panthers with a goal and an assist.

Evgenii Dadonov and Alexander Petrovic also scored for Florida (25-23-6). The Panthers are 6-1-0 in their last seven games and are seven points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bo Horvat had a goal and two assists for Vancouver (22-29-6). Brock Boeser, on a power play, and Michael Del Zotto also scored for the Canucks, who are 1-6-0 in their last seven games. …

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