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game recap

Barkov gets five assists in Panthers victory against Wild

Montembeault makes 25 saves for first NHL win, helps end Florida's losing streak at six

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

Barkov collects fifth assist

MIN@FLA: Barkov sets club mark on Matheson's second

Aleksander Barkov picks up his fifth assist of the game on Mike Matheson's second goal, setting a Panthers record

  • 01:01 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Aleksander Barkov set a Florida Panthers record with five assists and helped Sam Montembeault get his first NHL win, 6-2 against the Minnesota Wild at BB&T Center on Friday.

The Panthers (29-27-12) ended a six-game losing streak (0-2-4) with their first victory since they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime Feb. 25. They were coming off a crushing 4-3 loss against the Boston Bruins on Thursday when they allowed two goals in the final minute.

"It was probably the toughest loss we ever had, 30 seconds away from a perfect 60-minute game against a really good team," Barkov said. "Coming here, we had two choices: either forget about the last game and play as hard as we could this game, or just feel sorry about ourselves. I think we really played our butts off and deserved the win."

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Panthers highlights]

 

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and three assists, defensemen MacKenzie Weegar and Mike Matheson each had two goals, and Evgenii Dadonov had three assists for Florida, which is nine points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

The previous Panthers record of four assists had been done eight times, most recently by Thomas Vanek on March 14, 2017.

"I just gave the puck to my own players and they scored," Barkov said. "I'm thankful for them. But obviously it's a nice milestone."

Video: MIN@FLA: Huberdeau snaps Barkov's feed past Dubnyk

J.T. Brown and Marcus Foligno scored for the Wild (33-28-8), who had their point streak end at eight games (6-0-2). The Wild remained three points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card in the Western Conference.

Devan Dubnyk, who made 25 saves in the Wild's 3-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, was pulled after the first period after allowing three goals on seven shots. Alex Stalock made 19 saves in relief.

"Obviously we didn't have the same kind of jump that we had against Tampa," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Those are the things that make coaches go nuts because we needed it and we didn't show up."

Video: MIN@FLA: Brown deflects shot past Montembeault

Montembeault played his second NHL game. He had 22 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

"I was feeling a lot better today," Montembeault said. "I knew what to expect and I knew the level of play. I just got in and tried to play my game and it ended up going very well."

Florida took a 3-0 lead in the first period and had a goal overturned when Minnesota successfully challenged for offside.

Huberdeau made it 1-0 at 1:01 when he redirected Barkov's pass from behind the net. Weegar made it 2-0 at 16:51 with a wrist shot off defenseman Ryan Suter before scoring again at 18:31 with a slap shot from the right circle for a 3-0 lead. 

It was Weegar's first multiple-goal game in the NHL. He had one goal in his first 49 games this season.

"I haven't been shooting the puck a lot lately," Weegar said. "I shot a couple tonight and they went in so maybe I should keep shooting the puck. You just got to keep sticking with it. I've always told myself defense leads to offense so just playing good defense and hopefully I can get that offensive confidence back and keep going and learn."

Video: MIN@FLA: Weegar blasts puck by Dubnyk for second goal

Mike Hoffman extended the lead to 4-0 at 3:34 of the second period with a one-timer on a 5-on-3 power play before Brown scored at 9:02 to make it 4-1.

Matheson made it 5-1 at 17:40 with a wrist shot from the left circle before Foligno scored on a rebound at 17:55 to cut it to 5-2.

Matheson made it 6-2 with a wrap-around at 10:23 of the third period.

It marked the first time in Panthers history they had two defensemen score twice in the same game.

"When we can help out, obviously it helps the forwards out a lot," Weegar said. "They can sort of play a little looser and [Matheson], that's what he does. He can get up in the play pretty quick and put one behind you pretty fast. It's not a surprise by [Matheson] tonight."

Video: MIN@FLA: Matheson, Huberdeau team up for goal

 

They said it

"You'd like to think that after beating the best team in the League that we would come back with a better performance than we did. But it didn't happen." -- Wild forward Zach Parise 

"It was a great response. I was a little worried about it, to be honest. It would have been easy to come here today and feel sorry for ourselves and be down and pout a little bit, but we didn't do that." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner

Video: Clutch Performance: Barkov posts record five assists

 

Need to know

Wild forward Luke Kunin missed the game because of an upper-body injury he sustained against Tampa Bay from a hit by forward Cedric Paquette. … The Panthers became the fourth team since 2000-01 with two defensemen with two or more goals in a game. … Huberdeau tied his NHL career high with four points. He has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games. … Barkov has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games.

 

What's next

Wild: Host the San Jose Sharks on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, SNE, SNP, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Video: Montembeault, Barkov lead Panthers past Wild

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