Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov scores two in return from injury

Aleksander Barkov scored twice as the Florida Panthers got by the Arizona Coyotes 3-2.

SUNRISE, Fla. — Aleksander Barkov picked up right where he left off.

Barkov scored two goals in his first game back from an injury, lifting the Florida Panthers over the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night.

Barkov had scored in four consecutive games and had at least a point in six straight before he was hit in the head by Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader in a loss to the Red Wings on Feb. 8 and missed six games.

"It’s always nice to be back," Barkov said. "I hate missing games because it’s so boring. Finally, I’m playing and trying to have fun."

Vincent Trocheck also scored for the Panthers, and Roberto Luongo made 22 saves. With an assist, 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr became the oldest player to record over 43 points in a season. Jagr has 44 points this season and is four points away from tying Gordie Howe for third in career points (1,850).

"I hope I can get some more," Jagr said. "We have 22 games left."

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes. Louis Domingue, making his ninth straight start and third in four days, stopped 21 shots for Arizona, which has lost four straight.

Barkov's second goal stretched the Panthers' lead to 3-1. Jagr passed from behind the net through the crease to Barkov in front, and Barkov poked the puck in at the 4-minute mark of the third period.

"It was good for (Barkov).He had a great game and we needed him tonight," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said.

Arizona closed within a goal on a power-play when Ekman-Larsson's shot from the right circle went over Luongo's shoulder with 5:43 left in the third.

"It's frustrating to lose. We can't find a way to get on top of it," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We had a couple chances late to get it tied and get a point and we couldn't get it done. The frustration continues to build."

The Panthers remained five points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

"You don't worry about playoffs, you worry about two points. It was another big two points tonight," Gallant said.

Tied at 1, Barkov gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 10:18 of the second. Nick Bjugstad shot from the left circle and the puck was deflected out in front of the crease. Barkov grabbed the loose puck and pushed it across the goal line.

Doan gave Arizona a 1-0 lead on his goal. Doan shot from above the right circle and the puck bounced off Luongo's stick and into the net at 7:02 of the first. Doan leads the Coyotes with 23 goals.

The Panthers tied it at 1 on the goal by Trocheck. Brian Campbell fed Trocheck in the high slot and his shot went between the pads of Domingue at 12:04 of the first. The assist was the 400th of Campbell's NHL career.

Domingue was shaken up briefly with 2:56 left when Florida's Dmitry Kulikov fell on top of him in the crease, but he stayed in the game.

NOTES: Panthers F Jonathan Huberdeau missed the game with an upper-body injury. ... D Eric Gudbranson returned after missing eight games. ... The Panthers agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with 38-year-old forward Shawn Thornton. ... Doan has 12 first-period goals for the Coyotes.