The Florida Panthers grabbed hold of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
The victory was the sixth in a row for Florida and was the 12th win in 15 games for the team. With the excellent play, the Panthers now have 44 points and are tied for second place in the Eastern Conference.
One of the more remarkable statistics for the Panthers comes in their home and road splits. The Panthers are 10-6-2 in both their home and their road games. Florida has shown exceptional consistency and an ability to stay in games no matter where the venue is located. In addition, the team's +15 goal differential places them third best in the NHL overall.
Florida wasted little time jumping out to a lead and took a 2-0 advantage into the second period. The first goal of the came was put home by Aaron Ekblad. It was the ninth goal of the season for the second-year player and was assisted on by Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck.
With mere seconds to go in the first period, Aleksander Barkov helped the Panthers double their lead with his eighth goal of the year. The assist on that score went to Jonathan Huberdeau at the 19:42 mark.
After Columbus made it a one-goal game in the second period, Barkov decided to change that in the final period of play. Barkov's second goal of the day and his ninth of the season was also assisted on by Huberdeau. That score ended up being the difference maker when the Blue Jackets scored minutes later.
Florida will try to make it seven wins in a row when it hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.