SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Al Montoya got his first win in six appearance and it came against his former team.
Phillip Danault scored 39 seconds into overtime after Brendan Gallagher tied it late in the third period, leading the Montreal Canadiens over the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Thursday night.
Montoya made 31 saves to record his first win since Oct. 26, against the New York Islanders. Montoya appeared in 45 games for the Panthers from 2014-16.
“It’s emotional. I’ve got a lot of buddies on that side,” Montoya said. “I put in a lot of hard work and time in with those guys and they gave me a great opportunity, and now I’m ready to seize it with another team and take it to another level.”
Montreal snapped a three-game losing streak.
“It was an emotional win,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “Every time you play your old team, you want to prove something. He hadn’t won for a few games even if he played good for us at times. He certainly deserved better. You could tell the guys were really happy for him.”
Gallagher ended a 13-game goal drought with 2:37 remaining when his shot from the right circle went over James Reimer’s glove, and then Danault came in on a breakaway and beat Reimer on the stick side for his seventh goal of the season.
Danault got the puck from Max Pacioretty off the boards and had clear skating to the net.
“In a 3-on-3, you try to put the odds in your favor and I saw Pacioretty was going to get the puck,” Danault said. “So, I took off and Pac put it on my tape.”
Pacioretty also scored a goal for Montreal.
Vincent Trocheck and Jason Demers scored for the Panthers. Reimer stopped 38 shots.
The Panthers have lost four in a row and 11 of their past 13 games.
“It’s not good enough,” Reimer said. “As a team, I thought we played well. In OT, (Danault) just made a good shot. We battled hard for 60 minutes and got a valuable point. We’ll take any point at this point.”
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal by Trocheck at 9:03 of the second. Trocheck fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that got past Montoya high into the net.
A power-play goal by Pacioretty tied it at 1 at 5:45 of the second. Pacioretty shot from the high slot and the puck went five-hole on Reimer, who was screened on the play. Pacioretty has 10 goals in his past 12 games.
Demers made it 1-0 with 6:02 left in the first. Demers’ shot from the top of the right circle was stopped by Montoya but bounced off the knee of defenseman Shea Weber in front of the crease and into the net. The goal was Demers’ seventh of the season, tying his career high.
Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, the team’s points leader with 27 in 36 games, had an MRI on Thursday for an undisclosed injury.
“It’s definitely going to be more than a week, probably looking two to three weeks,” Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe said after the game.
Notes: Florida did not have an update on the fan who fell from a balcony during a game against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. The man was conscious and taken to a hospital after the fall. … Panthers C Michael Sgarbossa was recalled late Thursday from AHL Springfield. … RW Reilly Smith missed his second game with a concussion. … Linesman Jonny Murray was honored before the game for officiating his 1,000 NHL game.
Canadiens: Visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Panthers: Visit the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
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