Sunrise, Fla. ( Associated Press) — Brandon Montaur scored 2:26 in overtime as the NHL chief Florida Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to a franchise-record 13 games.
The winning streak matches the seventh-longest in NHL history and the league’s longest since Columbus won 16 consecutive games in the 2016–17 season. The win lifted Florida interim coach Andrew Brunett to 50th place in just 71 games behind the Panthers’ bench.
Claude Giroux had one goal and two assists for Florida, while Aleksandr Barkov had one goal and one assist, and Mason Marchement had two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 shots.
Justin Hall and Mitch Marner scored for Toronto. Jack Campbell finished with 32 saves.
The Maple Leafs again took an early lead over the Panthers but failed to hold onto it. In their final visit on 5 April, Toronto led Florida 5–1 in the second period but lost 7–6 in overtime. On Saturday night, the Panthers went 2-0 down after the first period but managed to bounce back.
Marner scored his 35th goal of the season on Toronto’s first shot of the night in 3:25 of the first period.
With 2:40 remaining, Hall fired a shot at Florida defenseman Radko Gudas, who trailed Bobrovsky 2-0.
Florida bounced back and moved up the score to third. Barkov joined the Panthers on the board in his 39th at 6:26 a.m.
Later in the period, Giroux picked up his third goal with the Panthers since coming in a blockbuster trade at the deadline.
This set off an intense third period in which Bobrovsky and Campbell were both fast throughout. Bobrovsky made 12 saves in the third Campbell 12.
Florida’s Jonathan Huberdo had an assist to keep Edmonton’s Conor McDavid two points behind for the league lead. McDavid is on 116 for the season and the Oilers will play in Columbus next Sunday.
Florida went four points ahead of the defunct Colorado (116) in the race for the Presidents Trophy, awarded to the team with the best regular season record. 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 tours Winnipeg on Sunday, then hosts St. Louis on Tuesday and visits Nashville on Thursday before ending in Minnesota on Friday.
Notes: The Maple Leafs welcome star center Austin Matthews back to the lineup after missing three games with an undisclosed injury. He came into the night with a league-leading 58 goals. … Toronto rookie forward Michael Bunting left the game in the first game and did not return. Bunting played in only four innings, with 12:01 left in this period. … Toronto and Florida have already set club records for points in the season. The Maple Leafs’ previous best was 105 in 2017-18; The number of Panthers in 2015-16 was 103. … Florida lost 2-1-0 against Toronto this season. … The Panthers are on pace to eclipse 600,000 in total home attendance Sunday night in the home final of their regular season. This will be the first time Florida has achieved this number since 2015-16. … Florida is only the fourth team in NHL history to have separate winning streaks of 12 and eight games in a single season, and the first since the 1970–71 Boston Bruins.
Maple Leafs: Sunday in Washington.
Panthers: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.
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