Barkov has team-record 5 assists, Panthers beat Wild
By Paul Gereffi
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Aleksander Barkov set a franchise record with five assists, and MacKenzie Weegar and Mike Matheson each scored twice as the Florida Panthers beat the Minnesota Wild 6-2 on Friday night to snap a six-game losing streak.
Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and three assists, Mike Hoffman also scored and Evgenii Dadonov added three assists. Sam Montembeault made 26 saves in his second career start for his first NHL win.
Marcus Foligno and J.T. Brown scored for the Wild, who had their eight-game point streak stopped. Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on seven shots before he was replaced by Alex Stalock to start the second period. Stalock stopped 19 shots.
Florida stretched its lead to 5-1 when Matheson scored with a wrist shot from the right circle at 17:40 of the second period. The Wild answered 15 seconds later on Foligno’s tap-in.
Matheson’s second goal came on a wraparound at 10:23 of the third and made it 6-2.
Hoffman’s one-timer from the right circle during a 5-on-3 power play gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead at 3:34 of the second.
Brown deflected a shot by Jonas Brodin into the net to make it 4-1 at 9:02 of the second.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead on seven shots in the first period. They went up 1-0 on Huberdeau’s goal 61 seconds in. Barkov passed from behind the net to Huberdeau in front and he skipped the puck into the net.
Weegar, who had one goal in 49 games this season, scored two in a span of 1:40.
His first goal gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead when his wrist shot from the point bounced off the back of Minnesota’s Ryan Suter and across the goal line at 16:51.
Weegar stretched it to 3-0 on his second goal, a shot from the top of the right circle that got past Dubnyk at 18:31.
A potential goal by Aaron Ekblad midway through the first period was disallowed after Minnesota successfully challenged for offside.
NOTES: Panthers G James Reimer returned after missing five games with a lower-body injury and backed up Montembeault. … Wild C Luke Kunin was scratched with an upper-body injury sustained in Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay. … Both teams were playing the second half of back-to-back games. The Wild won 3-0 at Tampa Bay and the Panthers lost 4-3 at Boston on Thursday.
Wild: Host the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
Panthers: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.