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Sam Reinhart scores 2 to reach 40 goals, Panthers beat Canadiens 4-3 in shootout

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sam Reinhart scored twice and became the fourth player in Florida franchise history to reach 40 goals as the Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shootout on Thursday night.

Reinhart snapped an eight-game goal drought with his two-goal effort, and reached the milestone on his second score at the 13:05 mark of the third period that tied the game at 3.

In the shootout, Reinhart failed to score for Florida, and Montreal's Jesse Ylonen and Nick Suzuki failed to convert before the Panthers closed out the win with scores by Aleksander Barkov and Anton Lundell.

Barkov also scored in regulation for the Panthers, who became the second team in the NHL — after the New York Rangers — to hit the 40-win mark.

Anthony Stolarz made 28 saves for Florida (40-16-4), which is tied with the Boston Bruins (35-12-14) for the most points in the league at 84.

“You feel it. Especially when you're are 19, 29, or 39,” Reinhart said of his drought. “We have been doing a lot of good things, a lot of them have come on the power play and we've been moving it around and finding the open guy, so we've been sharing the wealth recently.”

Suzuki, Juraj Slafkovsky and Alex Newhook scored in regulation for the Canadiens, and Cole Caufield connected in the shootout. Samuel Montembeault made 32 saves.

The Canadiens became the first team to score more than two goals on the Panthers since Jan. 19, when Minnesota beat Florida 6-4.

“That Florida team is one of the best teams in the league,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “There is a lot to learn with their game, and we're not as far along as they are, but we're trying to grab stuff from any team in the league that does things better than us at this stage. But I thought we matched them pretty well tonight.”

Florida's 14-game streak of not allowing more than two goals was tied for the longest this season, and the Panthers went 14-0-2 in the run.

“You look at (Matthew Tkachuk), Barkov, Reinhart, they're all out there for a reason,” Stolarz said of his team's defense. “They play well on both ends of the ice. They know when the time comes to get back, they're always going to be back and they're also pretty good at putting the puck in the net, so it's always nice having them out there.”

Slafkovsky snapped a four-game point drought with his goal.

Stolarz and Montreal defenseman Kaiden Guhle both played in their 100th career game.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Visit Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

Panthers: Visit Detroit on Saturday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Colby Guy, The Associated Press