SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Montur scored 2:26 into overtime and the NHL-leading Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to a franchise-record 13 games by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Saturday night.
The winning streak matches the seventh longest in NHL history and is the longest in the league since Columbus won 16 straight games in the 2016-17 season. The win also marked interim Florida coach Andrew Brunette’s 50th win in just 71 games behind the Panthers’ bench.
claude giroux had a goal and two assists for Florida, while Alexander Barkov had a goal and an assist and masons march He had two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky he stopped 34 shots.
“We go into games with a lot of confidence,” Giroux said. “I feel like after every win, we say we can play better. Everything is going very well right now. We’re getting some rebounds, making plays and having fun. We just have to keep going.”
justin holl and Mitch Marner had goals for Toronto. jack campbell he finished with 32 saves.
“I think the guys came out, played hard, overcame a lot of adversity,” Campbell said. “Obviously you want to go out with two points, but it is what it is. Simply proud of the effort of the boys”.
The Maple Leafs again held an early lead over the Panthers, but were unable to hold it. On their last visit on April 5, Toronto outscored Florida 5-1 in the second half but ended up losing 7-6 in overtime. On Saturday night, the Panthers fell behind 2-0 after the first period but were able to rally.
“I thought our guys played hard tonight. We could have easily won the game,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I thought we won the first and third period. Against this team, you have to score more than two. That’s what they’ve been doing all season, they find ways to win. … I thought we did more than enough to win.”
Marner scored his 35th goal of the season on Toronto’s first shot of the night at 3:25 of the first period.
With 2:40 remaining, Holl shot the Florida defender. Radko Gudas who overcame Bobrovsky to make it 2-0.
Florida came from behind and tied the score heading into the third. Barkov put the Panthers on the board with his 39 at 6:26 of the second.
Later in the period, Giroux got his third goal for the Panthers since arriving in a blockbuster trade at Deadline.
That set up an intense third period in which both Bobrovsky and Campbell were sharp throughout. Bobrovsky made 12 saves in the third, Campbell nine.
“Bob was great, he’s the reason we were where we were,” said Brunette. “We fell back a little bit in the second, but Bob kept us in. It was a good hockey game between two good teams and he took extra time to decide it.”
Florida jonathan huberdeau had an assist putting him two points behind Edmonton Connor McDavid for the league lead. McDavid has 116 for the season and the Oilers play next Sunday in Columbus.
Florida advanced four points over inactive Colorado (116) in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the team with the best regular season record. They both have four games left. Florida hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday and then ends the regular season with a three-game trip to Boston (Tuesday), Ottawa (Thursday) and Montreal (Friday). Colorado visits Winnipeg on Sunday, then hosts St. Louis on Tuesday and Nashville on Thursday before finishing in Minnesota on Friday.
NOTES: The Maple Leafs welcomed the star center auston matthews he returned to the lineup after missing three games with an undisclosed injury. He remained top of the league with 58 goals after failing to score on seven shots on Saturday. … rookie forward for Toronto michael bunting He left the game with 12:01 left in the first and did not return. Bunting only played four at-bats and “is going to miss some time for sure,” Keefe said. … Toronto and Florida have already set records for points in a season. The Maple Leafs’ previous record was 105 in 2017-18; the Panthers’ was 103 in 2015-16…Florida went 2-1-0 against Toronto this season…The Panthers are on pace to eclipse 600,000 in total attendance at home on Sunday night in their final regular season at home. they mark the first time Florida has reached that number since 2015-16… Florida is only the fourth team in NHL history to have separate winning streaks of 12 and eight games in the same season, and the first since 1970-71 Boston Bruins.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Maple Leafs: in Washington on Sunday.
Panthers: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.
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