PITTSBURGH (AP) The Florida Panthers are playing so well, they don't need any bounces.

They're getting them anyway.

Anton Lundell scored twice - including a fluttering shot that floated high in the air over Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry - and the Panthers extended their franchise-record road winning streak to nine with a 5-2 win over the Penguins on Wednesday.

“I have to watch it again,” Lundell said. "You don’t see those goals that often. We had some luck with us. You take it.”

Matthew Tkachuk added a goal and two assists for the Panthers. Aaron Ekblad and Johan Gadjovich also scored and Evan Rodrigues added two assists to reach 200 career points. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots to win his fifth consecutive start.

Florida improved to 16-3-2 since Dec. 23, a stretch in which the Panthers have zoomed up the Atlantic Division standings to draw within striking distance of first-place Boston.

Tkachuk has been right in the middle of it. The two-time All-Star has 32 points - including 13 goals and 19 assists - over Florida’s last 17 games following a sluggish opening two months of the season.

“So (Tkachuk's) game, in some ways, isn’t any different than at the start when he wasn’t (scoring) except timing and a little bit of quickness,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said. "Some of that goes to our power play as well. He’s generated some offense there. I think they get confidence. Your star guys get a few points on the power play, it settles their 5-on-5 game.”

Bryan Rust scored his 14th of the season for Pittsburgh. John Ludvig scored the first goal of his career in the third but the game was effectively decided during a 9:26 span in the second in which Florida Jarry four times. Jarry finished with 18 saves but couldn't stop the Penguins from dropping their third straight.

The Penguins had opportunities early but had a goal overturned on replay due to a Lars Eller high stick in the opening minutes of the second period and wasted three power plays, giving the Panthers enough time to find their footing.

Tkachuk broke open a sleepy game 4:28 into the second period when he finished off a 3-on-2 break by tapping in a pass from Rodrigues into an open net to put the Panthers in front.

Gadjovich doubled Florida's lead just 34 seconds later, redirecting Brandon Montour's shot from the point by Jarry to make it 2-0.

The Panthers kept on coming. Ekblad's low wrist shot on the power play 8:27 into the second pushed the advantage to three and when Tkachuk fed a wide-open Lundell at the side of the Pittsburgh net less than four minutes later, Florida was in cruise control while the restless PPG Paints Arena crowd booed.

“They got a couple quick ones there and, yeah, we didn’t really respond the way we wanted to,” Penguins forward Rickard Rakell said.

Pittsburgh, forced to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen because of injuries to multiple forwards, showed a brief sign of life when Rust deflected Jake Guentzel's shot from high in the slot to make it 4-1 with 4:36 left to go in the second. Pittsburgh then went on the power play when the Panthers unsuccessfully challenged the goal.

Yet the NHL's 30th-ranked power play mustered nothing and when Lundell beat Jarry again 5:35 into the third, Florida had things well in hand.

The Penguins, not so much.

The star-laden club is seven points out of a playoff spot and could be running out of time to get it together before the trade deadline. Pittsburgh is just 5-6-3 since Jan. 1 while failing to make any headway toward a postseason berth that used to be a matter of course for Sidney Crosby and company.

Making matters worse, Guentzel - whose 22 goals are second on the team behind Crosby - left the game midway through the third period and is being evaluated for an upper-body injury.


Panthers: At Buffalo on Thursday night.

Penguins: At Chicago on Thursday night.


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