Barkov has hat-trick, 5 points for Panthers in win over Canadiens

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SUNRISE, Florida — Alexander Barkov he had a hat trick and two assists in his return from injury, helping the Florida Panthers to a 7-2 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at FLA Live Arena on Thursday.

Barkov, who had missed the previous three games with a knee injury, collected the fourth treble of his career.

“It feels like he’s got some rebounds in there,” Barkov said. “Playing with really good players, they’re going to find me. That’s it.”

Video: MTL@FLA: Tkachuk scores PPG in the second period

Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals and one assist, and Carter Verhaeghe he had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (16-16-4), who had lost three in a row. Sergei Bobrovsky He made 25 saves.

arber xhekaj had a goal and an assist, and joseph anderson scored for the Canadiens (15-18-3), who have lost four straight and are 1-6-1 in their last eight games. sam montembeault he made 34 saves.

“I like the fight we had tonight, especially in the first [period]said Montreal coach Martin St. Louis. “It wasn’t perfect, but we were fighting.”

Florida went 3-for-6 on the power play; Montreal went 2 of 4. The Canadiens have allowed six goals in their last 12 penalties.

“Our PK is struggling right now,” St. Louis said. “For a good part of the beginning of the season, we did very well. Now, we’re up against some really good power plays and we’re a little off. You’ve got to give them credit, and for us, as much as it hurts a little bit for your growth, you can’t buy those reps.”

Video: Barkov gets a hat-trick in the first half

Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 2:37 of the first period when gustav forslingThe spot shot went by Barkov’s waist, then he made it 2-0 at 11:50 with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle on the power play.

Xhekaj cut it to 2-1 at 14:14 with a power-play goal on a slap shot from the spot.

Barkov completed his hat-trick at 15:22 when he caught a loose puck in front of the net and set up a backhand on Montembeault.

“He’s one of the best in the League, so if you give a player like that space and time, he’ll make you pay,” Xhekaj said. “That’s what he did tonight.”

Video: MTL@FLA: Verhaeghe scores in the 3rd period

Anderson made it 3-2 at 19:13 with a rebound in the last minute of a 5-3 power play.

Tkachuk extended the lead to 4-2 at 6:22 of the second period with another power-play goal when he tackled brandon montourShot from the tip.

Verhaeghe made it 5-2 at 4:14 of the third period with a shot from close range over Montembeault’s right shoulder.

“We know what we have to do and we want to do it again,” Verhaeghe said. “We want to play the same way, win or lose. We want to stick to our game and try to build on it. It’s a good night, but we’ve got to stay here.”

Video: MTL@FLA: Tkachuk shoots an SHG in the 3rd half

Tkachuk put the Panthers up 6-2 at 7:24 on the power play. Eetu Luostarinen he scored at 9:31 for the final 7-2.

“We played exactly how we wanted to,” said Barkov, the Panthers captain. “Right now, it’s just about continuing to play that way and continuing to build each game.”

NOTES: Barkov became the sixth player in Panthers history to score three goals in a single period and only the second skater with that many in the first, joining Steven Reinprecht (October 30, 2009). His power play goal made him Florida’s all-time leader in that category with 67, passing Scott Mellanby. … Montour had three assists. … Panthers defensemen Aaron Ekblad (plus-3 at 23:24 ice time) and Radko Gudas (four hits in 18:07) each returned from injury. …forward for Florida Anton Levtchi he played 9:41 in his NHL debut. … Canadians ahead Brendan Gallagher he returned after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury. He had three shots on goal and 17 penalty minutes in 13:41. …Montreal Defense Kaiden Guhle he left the ice late in the third period with an apparent leg injury after tangling with Barkov behind the net. St. Louis did not have an update.

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