Panthers Control Canadiens – Barkov Gets Hat Trick

SUNRISE, Fla. — Aleksander Barkov got his second career hat trick and the Florida Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-3 on Sunday night.

Barkov also had an assist to give him his third four-point game of his career.

Riley Sheahan, Frank Vatrano and Denis Malgin also scored for the Panthers, and Keith Yandle had two assists. James Reimer stopped 28 shots in his second straight start.

James Reimer Florida Panthers
James Reimer, Florida Panthers (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Max Domi scored twice for the Canadiens and Brendan Gallagher also had a goal. Antti Niemi allowed three goals on nine shots before being replaced by Carey Price, who finished with 24 saves.

Barkov’s second goal gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead on a spectacular goal with 2:11 left in the second. Barkov skated in on Price, then shot from between and behind his legs in front of the crease, flipping the puck high into the net.

Barkov swept the puck past Price from in front at 9:13 of the third to stretch the Panthers lead to 5-3 wuth his third goal of the night. Barkov’s first hat trick came on Dec. 15 in a 4-3 win over Toronto

The Panthers had a potential goal by Jonathan Huberdeau overturned at with 3:44 left when Montreal successfully challenged for offsides.

Sheahan’s empty-net goal with 2:25 left capped the scoring.

Domi tied the score 3-all on his second goal. Domi tipped in a pass from Mike Reilly at 5:18 of the second.

Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead on his power-play goal 3:59 into the game. He poked a rebound between the pads of Niemi 7 seconds into the power play.

Malgin’s shot from the high slot went over the glove of Niemi to make the score 2-0 at 11:28 of the first.

The Canadiens pulled within one when Domi shot from the slot and beat Reimer with just under 7 minutes left in the period.

The Panthers regained a two-goal lead when Vatrano’s shot went off a Montreal defenceman’s stick and past Niemi with 6:03 left in the first. Niemi was then replaced by Price.

Gallagher pulled the Canadiens to 3-2 when his shot bounced off Reimer and into the net with 3:14 left in the first.

NOTES: The Panthers recalled G Sam Montembeault from AHL Springfield. … G Roberto Luongo is on bereavement leave. … Barkov reached the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive season. … F Jamie McGinn played in his 600th NHL game. … The Panthers held a pregame ceremony in honour of the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Both teams flanked family members for a ceremonial puck drop. … Canadiens F Jonathan Drouin played his 300th NHL game.


Canadiens: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.

Panthers: Host Buffalo on Tuesday night.


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Paul Gereffi, The Associated Press