SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Ryan Johansen scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to and the playoff-bound Blue Jackets beat the Florida Panthers for the eighth straight time, 3-2 on Saturday night.
Mark Letestu and Cam Atkinson also scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves.
Jimmy Hayes and Vincent Trocheck scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo stopped 35 shots.
The Blue Jackets clinched the first wild-card spot and will face Pittsburgh in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs (see schedule below).
Philadelphia’s 4-3 overtime win over Pittsburgh earlier Saturday clinched third place in the Metropolitan Division for the Flyers and forced Columbus to the wild-card spot.
Johansen’s 33rd goal of the season, a one-timer from the left circle, got past Luongo at 5:58 of the third period to put Columbus ahead.
Blue Jackets-Penguins Playoff Series:
Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Pittsburgh (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
Saturday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at Pittsburgh (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. at Columbus (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Columbus (NBC Sports Network, CBC)
*Saturday, April 26 at TBD at Pittsburgh (CBC)
*Monday, April 28 at TBD at Columbus (CBC)
*Wednesday, April 30 at TBD at Pittsburgh (CBC)