SUNRISE (CBSMiami/AP) —The hottest team in South Florida is perhaps the most unexpected one.
Aleksander Barkov had two goals and Jaromir Jagr scored the 733rd of his career to lead the Florida Panthers past the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.
Roberto Luongo stopped 27 shots and the Panthers leapfrogged Montreal for first place in the Atlantic Division. The winning streak is their longest since March 2008 and it matches the franchise record.
Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, but the slumping Canadiens have lost seven of their past eight games and 11 of 13.
Ben Scrivens made 27 saves in his first NHL action since April 11 last season. Scrivens was in net for the first time since being acquired from Edmonton on Monday.
Barkov’s second goal stretched the lead to 3-1 during 4-on-4 play. Barkov took a pass from Erik Gudbranson in front and poked the puck past Scrivens with 11:07 to play.
Barkov also had an assist on Jagr’s goal. He has 10 points in his last seven games and two goals in back-to-back games.
Jagr gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead 1:16 into the second. Jonathan Huberdeau made the feed to Jagr in front and he made some nifty moves before putting the puck over Scrivens’ shoulder. Huberdeau leads the Panthers with 21 assists.
Montreal took a 1-0 lead on Pacioretty’s power-play goal. Pacioretty took a shot from the slot that beat Luongo on the glove side at 12:39 of the first. The goal was Pacioretty’s team-leading 15th but just his second in the past 13 games.
Barkov tied the score 1-all on a power-play goal at 16:28 of the first. His one-timer from the left circle got past Scrivens, who was screened on the play.
NOTES: Pacioretty has 14 points in 23 career games against the Panthers. . Barkov has 10 points in nine games against Montreal. . Panthers C Nick Bjugstad, sidelined since Nov. 30 with an upper-body injury, participated in his first full practice Monday. Bjugstad led the Panthers with 24 goals last season.
The Panthers face the New York Rangers on Saturday, January 2nd at 7:00 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.
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