Panthers put up 7 goals in victory over Canadiens
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Lomberg both had two goals and an assist to lead the Florida Panthers past the Montreal Canadiens 7-4 on Tuesday night.
Sam Bennett and Aleksander Barkov each added a goal and an assist for the Atlantic Division leaders, who are tied with Carolina for the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have 96 points, though Florida has a game in hand.
Mason Marchment also scored for the Panthers, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves.
It was a milestone night for Huberdeau, who tied the NHL record for assists in a season by a left wing with 70. He got his 400th career assist and set a career high with his 93rd point.
“It’s pretty cool, especially doing it against Montreal,” Huberdeau said. “I have a lot of family there, a lot of friends. It’s nice to get milestones, but it’s great to get the win.”
Lomberg had the first three-point game of his career.
“It was great,” he said. “On both my goals, some pretty good players putting it where I like it.”
Christian Dvorak, Joel Edmundson and Laurent Dauphin scored in the second period for the Canadiens. Chris Wideman had a goal and an assist, and Jake Allen stopped 39 shots.
Huberdeau’s second goal, a backhander from in front, put the Panthers ahead 5-4 at 1:19 of the third period.
Marchment’s goal made it 6-4 with 5:17 left, and Barkov added an empty-netter with 2:34 to go.
After trailing 4-1, Montreal scored three goals in 1:42 of the second period — including two 31 seconds apart — to tie it.
Edmundson’s shot from the slot went in with 3:36 left in the period to close to 4-2. Dauphin poked in a loose puck 31 seconds later to make it 4-3, and Dvorak scored from the left circle with 1:54 remaining.
“It was tough at 4-1, for sure,” Dauphin said. “We proved we can come back, and a couple goals and we were right back in it.”
Montreal had five shots in the second.
“We took some punches and they had us on the ropes but then we came out swinging,” coach Martin St. Louis said. “We were in a good spot at 4-4, we just didn’t get it done tonight.”
The Panthers stretched their lead to 3-1 when Bennett poked in a rebound at 2:37 of the second.
Lomberg’s second goal put Florida ahead 4-1. Lomberg took a pass from Barkov in the slot and beat Allen at 7:57 of the second.
“Giving up three goals is kind of unacceptable,” interim Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. “But they rallied and showed leadership and came out and did all the right things in the third period.”
Florida tied the score 1-all on Huberdeau’s short-handed goal with 3:43 left in the first. Huberdeau took a feed from Eetu Luostarinen in the slot and backhanded the puck into the top of the net.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead on Lomberg’s shot from the top of the faceoff circle with 2:03 left in the first.
Wideman gave the Canadiens a 1-0 advantage when his shot from the slot beat Bobrovsky at 2:32 of the first.
The game was the first at home with the Panthers for Claude Giroux since last week’s trade from Philadelphia. The last time Giroux played a “home” game anywhere but Philadelphia — excluding international tournaments — was in November 2012, when he spent nine games playing in Germany with the Berlin Polar Bears during the NHL’s lockout-shortened season.
NOTES: Canadiens C Jake Evans slid into the boards hard in the third and did not return. He is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. ... The Panthers offered a tribute to former center Mike Hoffman on the video board in the second period. Hoffman, now with Montreal, scored 65 goals in two seasons with Florida from 2018-20. ... The Panthers have 268 goals, their most in one season. ... Only one team in Panthers history had more wins than this Florida club does, that being the 2015-16 squad that had 47 victories. ... The Canadiens are on pace for the fourth-worst record in team history, and the worst mark by any Montreal club in more than 80 years. Only the 1935-36 (11-26-11), 1925-26 (11-24-1) and 1939-40 (10-33-5) teams were worse.
Canadiens: Visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Panthers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
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