Panthers beat Maple Leafs with power-play rally

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Panthers beat Maple Leafs with power-play rally

Brad Boyes and the resilient Florida Panthers put together a big rally against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.

Boyes scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in Florida’s four-goal third period, sending the Panthers to a 6-4 victory over the Maple Leafs.

Willie Mitchell, Dmitry Kulikov and Scottie Upshall also scored in the third for the Panthers, who have won four of five. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist, and Jussi Jokinen had two assists.

The Maple Leafs (20-13-3) were 14-0-0 when leading after two periods, but Florida (16-9-8) put an end to the streak in front of its season-best crowd of 17,877.

“We had a good chat between [the second and third] periods. We talked about getting back to our game and playing smart and a north-south game,” Panthers Coach Gerard Gallant said.

“We worked hard and we got a couple of bounces and breaks and I thought we deserved the game.”

James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist for Toronto, which has dropped four of five. James Reimer made 29 saves.

Florida and Toronto combined for six goals in the second, but the Panthers controlled the final period.

Kulikov started the rally when he whistled a shot past Reimer 2:45 into the third for his first goal of the season. Mitchell, another defenseman, then used a pass from Huberdeau to tie it at 4.

Boyes tipped in Kulikov’s shot from the point for the game-winning goal at 16:45, and Upshall added an empty-netter for his fifth of the season.

“We just kept pounding away on them. We were throwing pucks at the net and making the most of our opportunities,” Boyes said of his sixth goal.

“[Tonight] could be a message to us that we want to create more traffic in front of the net. Three of those [four] goals were the result of having scrums in front of the net.”

AP




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