Monday, April 4, 2016

Panthers Down Maple Leafs

     After clinching a playoff spot on Sunday for their fifth postseason appearance in franchise history, the Florida Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 at Air Canada Centre on Monday night. They broken a franchise record as they reached their 99th point of the regular season. The Panthers compiled 98 points back in the 1999-2000 season. This game started the final road trip for the Cats during the regular season.
     Florida dominated the second period with three goals during the frame. Nick Bjugstad put in his 14th tally of the season with assists from Aaron Ekblad and Reilly Smith at 1:34.
     The Panthers moved out to a 2-1 margin at 10:31. Jiri Hudler placed a lead pass to the left side to Rocco Grimaldi. He skated into the left circle and put in a high wrist shot by Jonathan Bernier.
     Grimaldi added his second goal of the game and third goal on the season on a Toronto turnover in their own end. Smith was on the right wing and sent a cross-ice pass to the top left circle where Grimaldi scored on a slapshot at 13:11.
     The Maple Leafs attempted to bounce back in this contest and scored on a power-play goal at 5:50. Colin Greening scored from the high slot as William Nylander and Morgan Rielly were credited with assists. Former Florida Panther player T.J. Brennan scored his first goal in two years to help Toronto cut the deficit to 3-2 at 8:54.
     It took 36 seconds for Florida to get back their two-goal lead. Ekblad fired a slapshot which was saved by Bernier, however Aleksander Barkov put in the rebound from the slot area.
     Greening added his second goal of the contest sixth tally of the year at 11:53 from close range against Al Montoya. Tyler Bozak and P.A. Parenteau provided assists on the play.

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