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Barkov scores twice as Panthers beat Blackhawks
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Barkov scores twice as Panthers beat Blackhawks

Barkov scores twice as Panthers beat Blackhawks 4-2

Panthers center Aleksander Barkov celebrates after scoring a goal during the second period Saturday against the Blackhawks.

SUNRISE, Fla. — Aleksander Barkov had two goals and an assist, and the Florida Panthers beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Saturday night.

Carter Verhaeghe added a goal and an assist as the Panthers earned their third straight win. Frank Vatrano also scored, and Anthony Duclair had two assists in his first game back since Feb. 27.

Brandon Hagel and Adam Boqvist scored for the Blackhawks, which lost to the Panthers for the third time this season. Kevin Lankinen had 31 saves.

Florida grabbed control with three goals in a scoring burst in the second period.

Barkov tied it at 1 when he beat Lankinen at 7:46. Verhaeghe put the Panthers ahead to stay 11 minutes in the period, and Valtrano made it 3-1 at 12:29. It was the 10th goal of the season for each the scorers during the decisive sequence.

Barkov scored again midway through the third. The captain has 11 points over his last nine games.

Hagel scored into an open net with Bobrovsky out of position just 28 seconds into the second off a return pass from Dominik Kubalik during a 2-on-1 break. It was Hagel’s second goal.

After being outplayed in the early going, Chicago got on track midway through the first with significant zone time and nine shots over the last 10 minutes of that period.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 stops for Florida.

Yandle honored

Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, whose career spanned 22 seasons and 1,612 games, was among those congratulating Keith Yandle on recently playing in his 1,000th game during a pregame video tribute.

Yandle achieved the milestone on March 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes, where he was also recognized on the scoreboard. During pregame warmups, all the Panthers wore jerseys with Yandle’s name and 1000 on the back.

The Boston native was presented with a 1,000-game Silver Stick by Barkov to conclude the festivities. One surprise gift from the organization was a custom-made golf cart.

Back in lineup

Duclair returned to action after missing six games with a lower-body injury.

Great crowd

The game was witnessed by 4,721 fans, including Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and his family.

Up next

Florida wraps up its two-game series with Chicago on Monday night.

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