Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers - Game Report - December 15th 2018

By: Nabeela Damji

Saturday, December 15, 2018

It’s always exciting when you net your first NHL hat trick. It’s even better when it helps you beat the third best team in the league.

For Alexander Barkov, his third goal helped lift the Panthers over the Leafs with a 4-3 win at home on Saturday, snapping a four game losing streak for the Panthers in the process.  Goalie Robero Luongo made 29 stops, while Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist in the win.   

Mitch Marner netted two goals in the loss, while John Tavares notched his team leading 20th goal in the loss.  Goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 28 shots for the Leafs, who have now lost the last four of five games. 

Barkov opened the scoring with a helper from Evgenii Dadonov to beat Andersen and make it 1-0 Panthers. 

The Panthers then capitalized on the power play, with Huberdeau beating Andersen by wiring one over his left shoulder for the 2 goal lead.

With the Panthers up 2-0, Tavares tipped a shot from the point by Jake Gardiner with 9:36 left in the third to make it 2-1.

Marner tied up the game at 2 with his first goal of the night, but just 27 seconds later, after a poor defensive effort by the Leafs, Barkov wired one past Andersen to make it 3-2.

Marners’ second goal, a shot from the right circle, tied up the game at 3 with 1:39 left in the game.

Barkov nailed the extra goal at 3:24 to give the Panthers the 4-3 win.