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Immediate Dividends: Florida Panthers 4, Montreal Canadiens 3

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Florida panthers giroux
Claude Giroux moves the puck during his debut game with the Florida Panthers on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. — Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire

The new members of the Florida Panthers all found the scoresheet on Thursday night as Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot and Robert Hagg all picked up points in a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Center.

The Panthers, who made a number of big moves before Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline, dominated the pace of play in Montreal with only a tremendous game from goalie Jake Allen keeping the score from getting out of hand.

Florida has now won eight of its past 10 road games.

The Panthers visit Ottawa on Saturday before playing Atlantic Division challenger Toronto for the first time this season on Sunday night.

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Florida, which had Chiarot in the starting lineup as he made his debut with his new team coincidentally against his old one, found itself down 1-0 very quickly.

Just 20 seconds into the game, Jonathan Huberdeau and former Lightning defenseman David Savard got into it a bit with Huberdeau taking his fourth roughing penalty in his past five games.

Nine seconds later, Nick Suzuki made it 1-0 with the power play goal.

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Florida answered back extremely quickly. Giroux won the ensuing faceoff and got the puck to Hagg; Sasha Barkov took it from there, scoring from the left circle and it was a 1-1 game just 36 seconds in.

The two teams did not score for the remainder of the period although Florida’s new-look five-forward top power play unit got a couple kicks at it in the first.

Florida ended up going 1-6 on the power play (two were abbreviated) and created 10 scoring chances while with the man advantage.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game 1:12 into the second period when Mason Marchment returned his own rebound and appeared to bank it off of Allen.

Montreal tied it up four minutes later on a deflection, but the Panthers took the lead for good when Anthony Duclair got his stick in the way of a point shot from Chiarot and knocked it through.

Florida extended its lead in the third when it got its fifth power play chance. With MacKenzie Weegar running the point, Huberdeau fed Sam Reinhart for a one-timer to make it 4-2 at 7:20.

Montreal pulled Allen with 5:15 remaining to add the extra attacker and with 3:40 left, the move paid off  when Paul Byron charged in and beat Spencer Knight to make it a one-goal game.

The Canadiens got a power play not long after pulling within a goal when Carter Verhaeghe took Florida’s second delay-of-game call.

Allen stayed in net for the first half of it and the Panthers were able to kill the penalty off despite Montreal having six attackers on the ice.

The Canadiens kept the net empty when the power play ended — but Montreal failed to score.

With 8.3 seconds left, Montreal was called for having too many men on the ice and that was the game.

Knight, making his fifth consecutive start since his most recent recall from Charlotte, made 28 saves including a number of high-danger chances from the Canadiens.

Knight has gone 3-1-1 in his road starts since last Sunday in Los Angeles.

GR’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME

1. Sam Reinhart, Florida

2. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida

3. Spencer Knight, Florida

UP NEXT FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS 

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT OTTAWA SENATORS

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