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Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers rally from 4 down, beat Maple Leafs in overtime


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Jonathan Huberdeau scored his second goal of the game in overtime and also had three assists, helping the Florida Panthers overcome a four-goal deficit to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-6 on Tuesday night.

The Atlantic Division-leading Panthers trailed 5-1 midway through the second period before coming back strong. Sam Reinhart scored two goals, Aleksander Barkov had a goal and three assists, Claude Giroux got his first goal for Florida and Radko Gudas also scored.

Huberdeau took a pass from Barkov in overtime and passed Jack Campbell for his 102nd point this season. The Panthers improved to 49-15-6, setting a franchise record with their 104th point.

“A lot of milestones, but it’s cool to do that when you win,” Huberdeau said. “It’s been a fun year. It’s been fun, but we haven’t done anything in the playoffs.”

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Florida Panthers left winger Jonathan Huberdeau, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring in overtime of the NHL team’s hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at Sunrise , in Florida.
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Each team turned to their backup goalie as the teams combined for 84 shots on goal. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 14 shots for Florida before Spencer Knight was relieved in the second period and stopped 19 of 21 attempts.

“It’s exciting to come back,” Barkov said. “But we have to work not to lose 5-1 or 6-2. We have to figure out how to handle the game the right way.”

The Panthers came back from a four-goal deficit for the second straight game.

“It was a frenetic game,” interim coach Andrew Brunette said. “I’m sure their coach is scratching his head a bit too. It was one of those games, it’s fun for the fans, probably fun for the players in a lot of ways, but not as much for us.”

Erik Kallgren stopped 20 of 23 for Toronto before pulling a puck out of his mask late in the second. Campbell replaced him and stopped 22 shots.

Mitchell Marner had two goals and an assist, and John Tavares, Jake Muzzin, Colin Blackwell and William Nylander also scored for the Maple Leafs. Auston Matthews had three assists.

Toronto tied a franchise record last set in 1983-84 by scoring five or more goals for the sixth straight game.

“We go from a chance on a breakaway to go up 6-1 to a penalty for too many men on the ice right after. That starts the snowball,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We had a pretty terrible penalty kill. I’m not going to focus on all that, I’m going to focus on the fact that we played a good hockey game today.

Barkov put Florida ahead 6-5 with his 34th of the season with 11:59 left, but Tavares tied it with a power-play goal with 3:54 left.

Huberdeau also scored a power-play equalizer 2:45 from the start of the third, 5-all, after Reinhart, Gudas and Giroux scored in the second. It was Giroux’s first goal since acquiring Philadelphia on March 19.

The Maple Leafs scored three goals in 2:04 of the second to chase Bobrovsky out of the game. Marner scored on the shorthanded, then on the power play, before Blackwell made it 4-1. Muzzin added with 11:20 left in the second period.

Marner’s two goals were 37 seconds apart, the shortest span between a power play and a shorthanded goal in NHL history.

“I’m disappointed to lose this game,” Maple Leafs center Jason Spezza said. “You don’t want wild swings in a game where we had control.”

Bobrovsky has been pulled from two straight starts since a 37-save shutout March 31 against Chicago.

NOTES: Huberdeau became the first Quebec-born skater to record a 100-point season since Tampa Bay teammates Vincent Lecavalier (108) and Martin St. Louis (102) both achieved the feat in 2006-07. … The game was a clash of two of the teams with the four best NHL records this season, Florida being No. 2 to start the day and Toronto No. 4. … Tuesday began a streak where Florida plays seven of 10 home matches. The Panthers then close out the regular season on a three-game trip.

FOLLOWING

Maple Leafs: Visit Dallas on Thursday.

Panthers: Host Buffalo on Friday.

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