Knight wins NHL debut, Bennett scores twice, Panthers defeat Blue Jackets


SUNRISE, Fla.Spencer Knight made 33 saves in his NHL debut and Sam Bennett scored two goals when the Florida Panthers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 at BB&T Center on Tuesday.

Knight, who was selected with the No. 13 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract March 13 and was recalled from the taxi squad April 13.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists and Anthony Duclair had three assists for the Panthers (30-12-5), who are 4-0-1 in their past five games.

The line of Bennett, Huberdeau and Duclair combined for eight points. Bennett has three goals and two assists in three games with Florida since coming in a trade with the Calgary Flames on April 12.

Jack Roslovic scored for the Blue Jackets (15-24-9), who have lost seven in a row (0-6-1). Joonas Korpisalo made 27 saves.

Florida finished the season series 7-0-1 against Columbus.

Aleksander Barkov and Bennett scored 14 seconds apart in the first period to give Florida a 2-0 lead.

Barkov opened the scoring at 6:52 with a wrist shot before Bennett made it 2-0 at 7:06 when he batted a rebound in mid-air.

Roslovic made it 2-1 at 16:16 with a power-play goal when he put home a loose puck in front of the net.

The Panthers scored three goals in the second period.

Bennett made it 3-1 at 7:04 on a rebound before Ryan Lomberg scored at 15:42 when he redirected Frank Vatrano‘s pass in midair.

Huberdeau made it 5-1 at 16:38 with a wrist shot from the high slot.

Florida forward Mason Marchment left the game after the first period with an undisclosed injury.

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