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Bjugstad scores 2 as Panthers beat Maple Leafs 4-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Nick Bjugstad snapped out of his scoring slump and spoiled Drew MacIntyre's first NHL start.

Bjugstad had two goals and an assist to lift the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Brad Boyes and Brandon Pirri also scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo, who returned after missing Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury, made 27 saves.

Bjugstad's goals — his first two after 21 games — came less than three minutes apart in the third for his first two-goal and three-point game of his career.

"It was a good night," Bjugstad said. "We had to get pucks to the net. First game for that goalie and we wanted to get shots on him. It worked out for us."

Paul Ranger and Tyler Bozak scored for the Maple Leafs, and MacIntyre stopped 33 shots. The 30-year-old was making just his second appearance for Toronto this season.

"It's been a long, long time but it was awesome. I have few regrets," MacIntyre said. "I was hoping it would be a win, that's how I envisioned it."

MacIntyre was drafted by Detroit in the 2001 NHL Draft, which took place in the Panthers arena.

"I looked up right at the end of the anthem and saw the 'Draft 2001' flag and I smiled at myself and said, 'It's been a fun ride.' ... I found it so funny that this rink is my first game."

The Panthers won for just the third time in 12 games. The Maple Leafs, who were in playoff contention most of the season, have lost six straight road games in regulation and are 2-11-0 in their last 13 games. The Maple Leafs were eliminated from postseason contention on Tuesday after a 3-0 loss at Tampa Bay.

"Very challenging time right now for our group mentally," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "I thought we'd have a little bit more compassion for the goaltender that was going in the net for his first NHL start. ... It's very disappointing."

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