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National Hockey League
Florida 6, Montreal 3
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 17, 2019
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida
Referees: Jake Brenk, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: Ryan Daisy, Jesse Marquis
Attendance: 16212

Aleksander Barkov scored three goals and added one assist to lead the host Florida Panthers to a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night.

It was Barkov's second career hat trick and his third four-point game.

His second goal, which came on a breakaway with 2:11 left in the second period, was sensational, and it gave Florida a 4-3 lead. Montreal defenseman Victor Mete tried to catch up, but Barkov was too fast and skilled, moving the puck forward and then back between his legs before flipping over goaltender Carey Price's stick.

Barkov has 22 goals, reaching at least 21 for the fourth straight season, and he leads the Panthers with 57 points.

Frank Vatrano -- who reached 20 goals for the first time -- Denis Malgin (his seventh) and Riley Sheahan (eighth) also scored for the Panthers.

Max Domi scored twice for Montreal, giving him 19 this season, and the Canadiens also got a goal from Brendan Gallagher (his 23rd). Tomas Tatar added two assists.

James Reimer made 28 saves to earn his second straight win.

Montreal had some issues in its net. With 6:03 left in the first period, Canadiens coach Claude Julien pulled goalie Antti Niemi, who made just six saves and left trailing 3-1. Coincidentally, Niemi made a career-high 52 saves the last time he faced Florida, in a 5-1 Montreal win on Jan. 15.

This time, with Niemi out, Price entered for Montreal and made 24 saves, allowing two Barkov goals.

There were five goals scored in a wild first period.

Florida put the first number on the board with 3:59 gone. Seven seconds after Domi high-sticked Mike Hoffman, Barkov shoved home a rebound of a Keith Yandle shot, beating Niemi five-hole. It was Barkov's ninth power-play goal of the season.

The Panthers made it 2-0 at 11:28 on a wrist shot by Malgin that was deflected by a Montreal stick before it sailed over Niemi's glove.

Just 36 seconds later, Montreal turned defense into offense as Tomas Tatar stole the puck from Hoffman and fed a charging Domi, who made it 2-1.

Niemi, though, got another bad break less than a minute later, as Vatrano's shot got past him after deflecting off the stick of Montreal defenseman Shea Weber.

Gallagher cut Montreal's deficit to 3-2 with 3:14 left in the period, scoring on an odd-man rush as the puck appeared to glance off of Reimer's left shoulder.

Domi tied the game at 3-3 with 5:18 gone in the second period. Mike Reilly's pass landed on the tape of Domi, who chipped the puck past Reimer.

From there, however, Barkov took over, and Sheahan added an empty-netter with 2:25 left in the game.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Montreal   Florida
Max Domi 2 Points Aleksander Barkov 4
Max Domi 2 Goals Aleksander Barkov 3
Tomas Tatar 2 Assists Mike Hoffman 2
N/A Power Play Goals Aleksander Barkov 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Carey Price .923 Save Percentage James Reimer .903
Carey Price 24 Saves James Reimer 28
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Montreal 31 3 0-3 2-3 6 34
Florida 36 6 1-3 3-3 6 31
Upcoming Games
  • Florida will play their next game at home against Buffalo. The Panthers have a W/L % of .458 after a win and .424 after a loss.
  • Montreal will play their next game at home against Columbus. The Canadiens have a W/L % of .452 after a win and .607 after a loss.