Florida Panthers tie NHL record for best 11-game start

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers matched the best 11-game start in NHL history and denied the Carolina Hurricanes what would have been a league record-tying start of their own, with Anthony Duclair getting two goals and two assists in a 5-2 victory on Saturday night.

Spencer Knight made 28 saves for Florida (10-0-1), which tied the 1994-95 Pittsburgh Penguins and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres as the only NHL teams to reach 21 points after 11 games.

Carolina (9-1-0) was bidding to join the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and those ’06-07 Sabres as the lone teams to start a season 10-0-0. The Hurricanes hadn’t trailed by more than two goals in any of their first nine games, but were down 4-0 in the first period against Florida and couldn’t pull off a comeback.

It was the first game in NHL history pitting two teams with season-opening point streaks of at least nine games.

Frank Vatrano, Anton Lundell and Patric Hornqvist also had goals for Florida, which got two assists from Carter Verhaeghe and Brandon Montour. Duclair had all three of his points in the first period, sparking Florida’s 4-0 game-opening burst.

Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen was pulled after the first period, having given up four goals on 14 shots. But he returned midway through the second when Antti Raanta had to leave the game following a collision with Florida’s Ryan Lomberg. Andersen ended up with 24 saves, and Raanta had four.

Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist for Carolina, and Jesper Fast also scored for the Hurricanes.

LIGHTNING 5, SENATORS 3

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored his sixth goal of the season to break a tie midway through the third period and Ondrej Palat added the game-winner with under two minutes to play as Tampa Bay beat Ottawa.

Victor Hedman, Jan Rutta, and Anthony Cirelli also scored for the Lightning and Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots.

Connor Brown, newly appointed captain Brady Tkachuk, and Logan Shaw scored for Ottawa and Matt Murray made 29 saves.

Tampa Bay has recorded points in five consecutive games.

The Associated Press

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