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

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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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