NHL: Panthers top Leafs in OT, keep pace in playoff race


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Brandon Montour scored his 14th goal of the season at 1:41 of overtime and the visiting Florida Panthers came back to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Florida’s Sam Reinhart tied the game with his 28th goal of the season with one minute left in the third period on a tip-in during a power play. Montour and Aaron Ekblad had assists.

Anton Lundell also scored for the Panthers, who had lost their previous four games.

Alex Lyon made 38 saves for the Panthers.

Auston Matthews and Zach Aston-Reese scored for the Maple Leafs. Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs, who were coming off a 3-2-0 road trip.

The Panthers (37-31-7, 81 points) were playing the second game of a four-game trip as they cling to their playoff hopes. They are one point behind Pittsburgh for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Panthers’ loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday officially clinched a playoff spot for the Maple Leafs (44-20-10, 98 points), who cannot catch first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division but sit six points ahead of Tampa Bay in second.

Lundell scored his 10th goal of the season 60 seconds into the first period on a 29-foot wrist shot following a Toronto turnover.

The Maple Leafs had a 14-7 advantage in shots on goal after the first period, forcing some good saves from Lyon.

Aston-Reese deflected TJ Brodie’s shot from the left point for his eighth goal of the season at 3:13 of the second period. Toronto put the puck in the net again 44 seconds later, but a video review determined that the play was offside.

Aston-Reese was stopped on a penalty shot at 11:33 of the second period after he was slashed by Montour on a breakaway.

Toronto led 29-18 in shots on goal after the second period.

Florida went on a power play when Mitchell Marner was called for high-sticking at 12:15 of the third. After Toronto killed the penalty, Marner had a good chance when he took a pass after leaving the penalty box but was stopped.

Matthews went to one knee to snap home his 37th goal of the season from the top of the left circle at 6:40 of the third, putting in a pass from Marner.

Florida went on the power play at 17:40 when Mark Giordano took a hooking penalty and got Reinhart’s tying goal.

Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (illness) was scratched.

–Field Level Media


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