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Top 40: Florida Panthers 4, Montreal Canadiens 3 (SO)

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SUNRISE — The good news for the Florida Panthers Thursday was that Sam Reinhart got his 40th and 41st goals of the season. The bad? Well, it was a lot closer against the last-place Montreal Canadiens than it probably should have been.

Regardless, Reinhart scored twice and Anton Lundell scored in the third-round of the shootout to give the Panthers their 40th win of the season — this one 4-3.

With the win, the Panthers overtook the Rangers for first place in the entire NHL.

Florida held a pair of leads in the game off goals from Sasha Barkov and Reinhart — only the Canadiens battled back.

Up 2-1 late in the second, Montreal scored off the faceoff with 0.7 seconds remaining to tie the score at 2.

In the third, Montreal made it 3-2 on the power play — then got two more, one on Evan Rodrigues’ questionable goalie interference, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. 

It was on the OEL kill in which the Panthers tied it at 3, Reinhart getting No. 41 the hard way by picking off a pass and driving in on Sam Montembeault.

Florida has now won 11 of the past 12 against the Canadiens including the past seven.

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Panthers 1, Canadiens 0 (7:01, 1st): Sasha Barkov scores another goal on the Canadiens, this one off a wrist shot from Sam Reinhart.
  • Canadiens 1, Panthers 1 (8:24, 1st): Nick Suzuki is left wide open at the blueline, Arber Xhekaj stretches a long pass to him and the center walks in and beats Anthony Stolarz.
  • Panthers 2, Canadiens 1 (14:08, 2nd PP): Reinhart finally gets No. 40 as he one-times a familiar feed from Matthew Tkachuk and buries it.
  • Canadiens 2, Panthers 2 (19:59, 2nd): Suzuki wins the faceoff to end the second — only Juraj Slafkovsky gets it and throws a wrister through with just .07 seconds remaining before the break.
  • Canadiens 3, Panthers 2 (3:27, 3rd PP): Alex Newhook scores from the left circle with Niko Mikkola in the box.
  • Panthers 3, Canadiens 3 (13:05, 3rd PP): Reinhart picks off a pass in the defensive zone and is off the races, beating Sam Montembeault top shelf.
  • Panthers 4, Canadiens 3 (SO): Anton Lundell wins it in the shootout.

FHN’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Sam Reinhart, Panthers

2. Sasha Barkov, Florida

3. Nick Suzuki, Canadiens

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ DETROIT RED WINGS  

  • When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit 
  • Streaming/TV: ABC (Chs. 10, 25)/ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL/Panthers App
  • Last Season: Florida won 3-0
  • This Season (Tied 1-1) — At Detroit: Panthers 2, Wings 0 (Nov. 2); Saturday. At Florida: Wings 3, Panthers 2 OT (Jan. 18); March 30
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 37-19-7, 5 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.

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