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game recap

Barkov lifts Panthers past Canadiens

Center has two goals, two assists to help Florida rally from down three

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Barkov's go-ahead goal

MTL@FLA: Barkov puts Panthers on top late in the 3rd

4/2/16: Aleksander Barkov redirects a shot from Aaron Ekblad through the legs of Mike Condon to give the Panthers a late 4-3 lead

  • 01:02 •

Aleksander Barkov scored his second goal of the game with 28.9 seconds remaining, and the Florida Panthers rallied from down three to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 at BB&T Center on Saturday and remain in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Barkov and linemates Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr combined for seven points to help Florida to its 44th victory, the most in its history.

Barkov, who had two assists, scored the game-winner when he deflected Aaron Ekblad's shot from the right point past Montreal goalie Mike Condon.

Huberdeau, who had a goal and an assist, said Barkov's first goal, which cut the Canadiens lead to 3-2 with 34 seconds left in the second period, made the comeback possible.

Video: MTL@FLA: Jagr gets a piece of Barkov's one-timer

"Getting behind by one goal instead of two going into the third period, that was a huge goal," Huberdeau told Fox Sports Florida. "And he's an unbelievable player. Tonight, he showed it. Four points, I mean, I'm fortunate to play with a guy like that."

Roberto Luongo made 25 saves for the Panthers, who broke the record of 43 wins they shared with the 1999-2000 team.

Florida (44-25-9, 97 points) leads the Tampa Bay Lightning, who defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1, by two points for first in the Atlantic. The Panthers lost an opportunity to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday when the Detroit Red Wings won 3-2 at the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Huberdeau scored on the power play to tie it 3-3 at 12:17 of the third period.

Video: MTL@FLA: Barkov reaches through defender, scores

"We didn't let go, even if we were down 3-0, and then we came back and it's a huge win for us," said Huberdeau, who has a goal in each of the past five games and six over that span.

Jagr scored in the second period to cut the Canadiens lead to 3-1.

"I think Montreal made it a little bit easy for us; they just kept playing the same way, so we felt like we were going to have the opportunity to score," Jagr told Fox Sports Florida. "I'm not saying it was a matter of time, but we had some scoring chances, plus we didn't play well at all for the first half of the game."

Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais and Torrey Mitchell scored, and Condon, who got his first NHL shutout Thursday, made 35 saves for Montreal (36-37-6).

Video: MTL@FLA: Gallagher slaps home game's first goal

"They're good," Gallagher told RDS about facing Jagr, Barkov and Huberdeau. "We've played against good players before, but their line, it seems like every time we play them they find a way to contribute and produce. It's two pretty young kids playing with Jagr, and I'm sure they're learning a lot from him. So they're definitely a challenging line to play against, but at the same time, you can't be happy when you give a line that much success."

Jagr scored his 26th goal, the 748th of his NHL career, at 13:13 of the second to end Condon's shutout streak at 116:53. Barkov extended his point streak to five games when his shot went in off Jagr's skate.

The Panthers pressed for the tying goal before Huberdeau scored.

Huberdeau's snap shot hit the post at 8:10 of the third period. Condon made a pad save on Rocco Grimaldi's shot from the slot at 9:31, and after Montreal center Tomas Plekanec was called for tripping, the Canadiens goalie came out to challenge Barkov and make a save at 11:05.

Video: MTL@FLA: Huberdeau ties the game on the power play

"That top line, they're very, very good, and they got one, and it just seemed like they had the momentum after that and we never bounced back," Montreal defenseman Greg Pateryn told RDS.

Gallagher scored at 10:14 of the first period in his return to Montreal's lineup after missing 12 games because of a lower-body injury. He spun around in the slot and slapped the puck past Luongo for his 19th goal after Canadiens defenseman Joel Hanley shot it toward the net from the left point.

Hanley has six assists in seven games with Montreal; he had five goals and eight assists in 61 games with St. John's of the American Hockey League.

Desharnais made it 2-0 with his 11th goal at 10:10 of the second period, and Mitchell extended his career high with his 11th goal at 11:19 to make it 3-0.

Video: MTL@FLA: Czech Republic Jagr breaks out dances moves

An apparent goal by Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov at 18:23 of the first was disallowed on a successful coach's challenge by Florida's Gerard Gallant.

Refereee Mike Leggo made the announcement and reset the game clock by five seconds to 18:18 after linesman Mark Shewchyk reviewed video and reversed his on-ice call by ruling that Montreal's Max Pacioretty was offside on the play that led to Markov's goal.

Canadiens defenseman Brent Lernout made his NHL debut but left in the second period after sustaining an injury. Lernout is the 14th defensemen to play for Montreal this season; he was recalled from St. John's of the AHL after defenseman Nathan Beaulieu broke his right thumb Thursday.

Video: Panthers score four unanswered goals, beat Canadiens

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