Stuck in reverse: Once-streaking Blackhawks drop second in a row
SUNRISE, FLA. – Aaron Ekblad came back, and the Florida Panthers made an emphatic return to their winning ways.
Roberto Luongo stopped 27 shots for his fourth shutout of the season, Ekblad scored in his first game back after recovering from a concussion and the Panthers easily handled the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Friday night.
Florida had lost its past eight meetings with Chicago. It last beat the Blackhawks on March 8, 2011, and was outscored 25-11 in those games.
Scott Darling stopped 28 shots for Chicago, which lost on consecutive nights in the state of Florida. The Blackhawks lost in Tampa on Thursday, after winning 12 straight to match the Panthers for the longest winning streak in the league this season.
•THIRD-PERIOD TAKEOVER: Travis Hamonic and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist in the third period and the Islanders topped the host Senators 5-2. 3.
•LARKIN LEADS WAY: Dylan Larkin had a goal and an assist, and the Red Wings won 3-0 at Buffalo, ending a two-game skid.
•FORMER NHL DEFENSEMAN DIES: Former St. Louis defenseman Rik Wilson died at age 53. The team did not list a cause of death. Wilson was drafted No. 12 overall in 1980 and played 235 regular-season games.
•IN COMMAND: Ryan McDonagh scored to stretch his scoring streak to four games, and the Rangers beat host Carolina for the 14th time in 15 meetings, 4-1.
•ACHES AND PAINS: With only three games left before the All-Star break, the Panthers put defenseman Willie Mitchell, who has various nagging ailments, on injured reserve … Columbus coach John Tortorella broke two ribs falling after a collision with forward Rene Bourque during an outdoor practice Friday and will not coach Saturday night at Boston. Associate coach Craig Hartsburg will run the team.