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Double Tapped: Toronto Maple Leafs 2, Florida Panthers 1 (SO)

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The Florida Panthers seemed no worse for wear as they visited the Toronto Maple Leafs a night after blanking the Senators.

Good thing because they definitely had a battle on their hands.

In the end, a controversial 4-minute high-sticking call on Jonah Gadjovich in the closing minutes of the third ultimately did not hurt Florida as its suddenly terrific penalty kill held off until Toronto was called for a too-many-men penalty with 5.4 seconds remaining.

Neither team scored in overtime, but Florida appeared to get the extra point when Evan Rodrigues scored in the fifth round of the shootout.

Only video review took that goal off the board as Rodrigues touched the puck after he shot it — which is not allowed in a shootout.

So, in Round 6, Noah Gregor scored and Nick Cousins did not.

Toronto 2, Florida 1.

Florida ends up getting 3 of 4 points on a challenging back-t0-back with Wednesday off. Montreal is up next.

Florida’s penalty kill, which has now been successful in its past 20 runs out, stopped Toronto on all six of its power play chances Tuesday night.

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The biggest stops came when Gadjovich was called for a delayed high-stick after Gregor, who scored Toronto’s game-tying goal in the second, appeared to fall into the stick.

Why was it four minutes?

Paul Maurice could only offer a sick grin — as if he had seen this before.

The Panthers, who were last in this building for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, had plenty of scoring chances against Joseph Woll but only a rebound from Kevin Stenlund in the first went through.

It is not like Anton Lundell did not try and beat the Toronto goalie.

Lundell ended up leading Florida with six shots on goal in regulation and 10 shot attempts.

He was the first Florida shooter in the skills competition and was stopped; in all, Anthony Stolarz stopped four of six in the final with Auston Matthews scoring in Round 2.

Sam Reinhart forced the extra rounds when he scored in No. 3.

Florida celebrated the win and headed for the room after Rodrigues scored.

Only officials gathered to watch the video and pulled it off the board.

If Rodrigues hit the puck twice during regulation or overtime? It would have counted.

But not in a shootout.

“Unfortunate,’’ Rodrigues said.

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Panthers 1, Leafs 0 (15:28, 1st): A great job by the fourth line here as Ryan Lomberg beats William Nylander to the puck deep in the corner and gets it out. Jonah Gadjovich follows up an Aaron Ekblad rebound with two shots of his own — and Kevin Stenlund buries it.
  • Leafs 1, Panthers 1 (12:54, 2nd): Noah Gregor picks a puck up along the wall that bounced over Dmitry Kulikov’s stick, drives in and goes high on Anthony Stolarz.
  • Leafs 2, Panthers 1 (SO): Six Rounds; Gregor gets the winner

GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Joseph Woll (37 saves, 5/6 SO), Toronto

2. Anthony Stolarz (31 saves, 4/6 SO), Florida

3. Noah Gregor (goal, SO/GW), Toronto

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ MONTREAL CANADIENS

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Centre Bell, Montreal
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Last Season: Florida won 4-0
  • This Season — At Montreal: Thursday; April 2. At Florida: Dec. 30; Feb. 29.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 55-38-11, 6 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. New York Islanders, 6 p.m.

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