COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus looked like it was skating through mud when the Florida Panthers took a one-goal lead in the first period Saturday night. These days, it takes more than that to shake the last-place Blue Jackets’ confidence.
Brandon Dubinsky scored the only shootout goal and Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist while Columbus kept rolling with a 4-3 win over the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers.
Columbus is still at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings but has won nine of its past 14 games. The Jackets have been on an upward trajectory since coach John Tortorella was hired following an 0-7-0 start to the season, and confidence from that turnaround helped keep Columbus steady after a slow-footed defensive effort on Aleksander Barkov’s goal 12 minutes in.
"We talked about it between the first and second period, about how well we have played for quite awhile," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "There was no sense in losing our mind over it. We were bad. But it was still just 1-0 at that point in time."
Seth Jones and Brandon Saad also scored for Columbus. Alexander Wennberg added two assists, and Joonas Korpisalo made 28 saves to pick up an 11th win in his last 16 starts.
Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and Logan Shaw scored for Florida. The Panthers entered with wins in three of four games as they try to hold off rivals Tampa Bay and Boston in the chase for the division crown. Roberto Luongo had 22 saves.
"I thought we were really good the first half of the game, competed hard and took control of the game," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "After that, I thought we were a little sleepy the second half."
In the shootout, Dubinsky initially mishandled the puck but still was able to roof a hard shot for the clinching goal. The bobble may have confused Luongo.
"I’m lucky I got it back, it was heading straight to the corner," Dubinsky said. "I’m not sure if it messed him up."
Luongo stopped Columbus’ other two shooters. Both Barkov and Nick Bjugstad hit the post, and Trocheck, trying to keep Florida alive, lost the puck before he got to Korpisalo.
"It was a tough game," Bjugstad said. "Thought we should have gotten these two points, but that’s how it goes sometimes."
Columbus was outshot 13-1 in the first period and 24-11 after two but trailed just 2-1 heading into the third. The Jackets broke out with two goals just over 4 minutes apart to take the lead before Florida tied it with 5:42 left.
Jones scored at 3:07 on the power play with an offspeed one-timed slap shot that seemed to fool Luongo. The goal was his first as a Blue Jacket in 22 games since being acquired on Jan. 6 from Nashville for Ryan Johansen.
Saad followed with another goal, jumping on a loose puck in the slot to make it 3-2 with his career-high 24th.
With Hartnell serving a delay of game penalty — his third minor infraction of the game — Shaw backhanded in a rebound.
Jaromir Jagr assisted on Barkov’s goal, and the 44-year-old is now three points shy of Gordie Howe for third place on the career list with 1,845 points.
Barkov has three goals in two games since returning from a six-game absence for a concussion. Jussi Jokinen also had an assist for his 500th career point.
NOTES: During the game, Florida acquired C Jiri Hudler from Calgary for 2016 second- and 2018 fourth-round draft picks, RW Teddy Purcell from Edmonton for a 2016 third-round pick and Jakub Kindl from Detroit for a late-round pick. The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. EST Monday. … D Michael Paliotta was inserted into the lineup for Jack Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve Friday with an upper-body injury. Paliotta was sent back down after the game. … Florida kicked off a five-game trip and plays 13 of its final 21 games away from home. … The Blue Jackets snapped a three-game losing streak to the Panthers.