December 30, 2019 / 3:10 AM / 21 days ago

Huberdeau lifts Panthers past Canadiens

Jonathan Huberdeau scored two goals and added two assists to lead the host Florida Panthers to a 6-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night in Sunrise, Fla.

Dec 29, 2019; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Mike Hoffman (68) warms up before a game against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Huberdeau, who was born and raised in a Montreal suburb, scored the go-ahead goal with 13:30 expired in the second period and then scored again 35 seconds later. He leads the Panthers in goals (16), assists (37) and points (53).

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov posted two goals and one assist. Panthers second-line winger Noel Acciari added his eighth goal in his past six games. Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson also scored on a shot that was nearly deflected out front by Huberdeau — that would’ve been the first hat trick of the latter’s career.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves for the win.

Montreal got goals from Tomas Tatar, Jeff Petry, Max Domi, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Shea Weber. Canadiens 20-year old rookie Nick Suzuki added three assists, giving him 16 this season. Petry had two assists.

The Canadiens went 2-for-4 on their power play — goals by Tatar and Kotkaniemi — and killed all five Panthers power plays.

Six-time All-Star goalie Carey Price, who made 28 saves, lost his second game in roughly 24 hours, allowing a combined total of 11 goals after surrendering five in a 5-4 loss at Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Florida opened the scoring with goals by Acciari and Barkov in the first period.

Montreal then wrapped up the first-period scoring on Tatar’s goal with 13:31 expired. Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who had missed the previous game due to a shoulder injury, was whistled for tripping Suzuki, leading to Tatar’s wrist shot from the left circle.

There were five goals scored in a wild second period. First, Montreal took a 3-2 lead little more than two minutes into the period on goals by Petry and Domi just 52 seconds apart.

But then Huberdeau took over, setting up Barkov with the tying goal and posting his two tallies to give Florida a 5-3 lead at 14:05 of the period. His go-ahead goal deflected off the skate of Montreal’s Ben Chiarot and then bounced in off the far post. On his next goal, Huberdeau was sprung on a breakaway by Barkov’s cross-ice pass.

Matheson and Kotkaniemi (on a rebound) traded goals early in the third. Weber cut Montreal’s deficit to 6-5 on a goal with 1:52 left after Price had been pulled for the extra attacker.

—Field Level Media

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