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Florida Panthers Get Another Big Night from Brandon Montour

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Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour celebrates his power-play goal in the third period helping his team beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Tuesday night. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers have had a lot of success against the Buffalo Sabres in recent years and a lot of that has come since they acquired Brandon Montour in 2021.

The former Buffalo defenseman had a huge hand in Florida’s latest triumph over the Sabres Tuesday night by assisting on the first two goals of the night before scoring the game-winner in a 3-2 victory.

Florida has won nine of its past 11 against the Sabres and are 2-0 against them this season.

Tuesday night was Montour’s eighth 3-point night with the Panthers which is third all-time among defensemen behind Aaron Ekblad and Robert Svehla.

Montour has 10 points in his past five games.

“We are moving the puck, getting the confidence a little more,” Montour said. “Any time you can contribute offensively… it’s nice to collect these wins and play these big games. I am still working towards playing my best hockey come April.”

Montour did it all for the Panthers on Tuesday night.

“He is moving well, he is up the ice, and he is so fast that he can get back,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “He is a one-man breakout, almost.

“So it is very easy to transition from defense and offense. He is super gifted. He sees the net really well and he is able to find shot lanes and is really good at finding the open man and getting his shots off quick. A lot of the time when he gets a goal, he one-times it really quick and it’s in the back of the net.”

He helped get things started offensively with a give-and-go breakout with Nick Cousins late in the first period to ultimately set up Sam Bennett’s opening goal.

Montour picked up another secondary assist on the power play after Carter Verhaeghe picked up the rebound of one of his slap shots from the point and dished it over to Tkachuk, who finished it off.

He got a power-play goal of his own with a blast of a one-timer midway through the third period, which ended up being the deciding goal.

“He plays with lots of energy, lots of speed and he is up and down the ice,” Sergei Bobrovsky said. “I’m so happy to see him start scoring, getting assists, and being valuable up front.”

The offense hasn’t always come this easy for Montour.

Prior to his recent five-game run, he had just two goals and 12 points after returning from offseason shoulder surgery in mid-November.

It was far off from his career-high 73-point pace last season.

But it was not for a lack of good looks.

Montour was making great plays to set his teammates up, but always ended up being the third guy to touch the puck on the play while his shots, while dangerous, just weren’t going in.

“I think there was an awful lot of that and anything he did generate kind of hit posts,” coach Paul Maurice said. 

“He didn’t get a lot of breaks.

“He had one go for him the other night that was kind of wide of the net, then it went in. I think he is going to continue to put up points because he is moving very well.”

— Verhaeghe left the game midway through the third after taking a puck to the face. He did not return, but Maurice said he was fine.

— Bobrovsky is now the first goalie in franchise history to allow two goals or fewer in nine consecutive games.

Three Florida goalies had allowed two goals or fewer in eight straight games: Tomas Vokoun (twice during the 2007-08 season), John Vanbiesbrouck (1995-96 & 1994-95), and Mark Fitzpatrick (1996-97).

ON DECK

MONTREAL CANADIENS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5 FM-2; 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 (Panthers Lead 2-0) — At Montreal: Panthers 5, Canadiens 1 (Nov. 30). At Florida: Panthers 4, Canadiens 1 (Dec. 30); Thursday
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 57-38-11, 6 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday at Detroit, 3 p.m. (ABC)

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