SUNRISE, Fla.: Chris Driedger stopped 21 shots, Aleksander Barkov and Anthony Duclair scored, and the Florida Panthers dominated the Nashville Predators in a 2-0 victory Saturday.
Nashville’s Juuse Saros stopped 47 of 48 shots, but the Predators couldn’t solve Saros, making his first start since March 7.
Barkov backhanded in a rebound 9:15 into the second period for his 13th goal, and Duclair added an empty-netter with 15 seconds left. Nashville beat the Panthers 2-1 on Thursday, but Florida improved to 9-0-1 following a loss this season.
Duclair and MacKenzie Weegar assisted on Barkov’s goal, and Weegar stretched his career-best points streak to seven games.
Florida stayed relentless in the offensive zone throughout for first 40 minutes, winning puck battles and keeping Nashville under continual pressure. The Panthers had a chance at the equalizer on Nick Cousins point-blank shot shortly after Barkovs goal, but Driedger grabbed it out of mid air.
The Panthers dominated the first period with a 22-7 shot advantage. Six of those attempts came during a 4-minute roughing penalty to the Predators Mathieu Olivier.
Saros came up big time and again after holding Florida to one goal Thursday.
Florida forward Patric Hornqvist played in his 800th NHL game, becoming the 32nd native of Sweden to reach that milestone.
Hornqvist has produced four points (2-2-4) over his past six outings. The 34-year-old veteran is tied for second on the Panthers in goals with 11 and has 24 points (11-13-24) over 29 games in his first season with Florida.
The game was witnessed by 4,358 fans, just slightly under the 25% capacity at the BB&T Center.
Florida visits Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Nashville visits Dallas on Sunday.
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