Montour scores in OT, Panthers beat Maple Leafs to snap skid
TORONTO (AP) Sam Reinhart tied it with 1 minute left in regulation and Brandon Montour scored 1:41 into overtime as the Florida Panthers rallied to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Wednesday night, snapping a four-game skid.
Anton Lundell also scored to help the Panthers get their first win since snapping a 6-0-1 stretch in a loss at Philadelphia on March 21st. Alex Lyon stopped 38 shots as Florida pulled one point behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
"It's a tough, tough league," said Montour, who added an assist that gave him the franchise record for points by a defenseman in a season with 63. "We have all the belief in the world."
Zach Aston-Reese and Auston Matthews scored for the playoff-bound Maple Leafs, and Ilya Samsonov had 26 saves.
"Played a good game," Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. "Didn't score enough to win and then made some mistakes at the end. Cost us the extra point."
The Panthers trailed 2-1 until Reinhart tied it with 1 minute left in regulation on a power play as he got a pass from Aaron Ekblad and fired a one-timer from above the left circle through traffic and past Samsonov. It was his 28th.
Lyon and Montour then stole the show in OT.
"I don't get too worked up anymore," said the 30-year-old Lyon, who got the start ahead of the under-the-weather Sergei Bobrovsky on the front end of a back-to-back. "Not to sound like I've been through it all, but just spent a lot of time in the (minors) and played a lot of games. You just try to find ways to block out the other things ... all that matters is stopping the puck."
In overtime, Aleksander Barkov brought the puck up the left side on a 2-on-2 rush and sent a cross-ice pass to Montour who quickly fired it past Samsonov for his 14th.
Lyon robbed Matthews earlier in OT to keep his team in the fight.
"Gave us every chance," Barkov said of Lyon. "He's the type of guy who brings the joy into the locker room."
Matthews had given Toronto the lead at 6:40 of the third as he got a pass from Mitch Marner above the left circle and fired a shot that beat Lyon five-hole. It was Matthews' 37th goal of the season and gave Marner 67 assists.
Matthews has six goals and five assists as part of a seven-game point streak. Marner, meanwhile, has points in 11 straight games.
Lundell got the Panthers on the scoreboard first, getting a pass from Eetu Luostarinen in the slot and firing a shot past Samsonov just 1 minute into the game. It was his 10th.
Aston-Reese tied it for the Maple Leafs at 3:13 of the second as he went to the front of the net and deflected T.J. Brodie's long shot out of the air and past Lyon. It was his eighth.
Calle Jarnkrok appeared to give Toronto its first lead moments later on a 2-on-1, but the play was correctly challenged for offside on Matthews.
Aston-Reese then fired wide on a penalty shot after the forward was slashed on a breakaway, and the teams stayed tied 1-1 through two periods.
Panthers: At Montreal on Thursday night in the third of a four-game trip.
Maple Leafs: At Ottawa on Saturday night before returning home for a two-game stretch.
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Updated March 30, 2023