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SUNRISE (AP) — Taylor Hall snapped a scoring drought with two goals, Cam Talbot stopped 30 shots and the Edmonton Oilers added to Florida’s slide by beating the Panthers 4-2 on Monday night.
Teddy Purcell had a goal and two assists for Edmonton, which led 3-0 after two periods and then withstood a Florida rally in the final 20 minutes. Jordan Eberle also scored for the Oilers.
Hall, who also had an assist, scored just one goal in his previous 14 games.
Reilly Smith and Quinton Howden scored early in the third period for Florida, which has dropped four straight since winning 12 in a row. Al Montoya gave up three goals on the first seven shots he faced, and the Panthers had their club-record home winning streak snapped at seven games.
Since their winning streak, the Panthers have been outscored 16-5.
Purcell’s goal with 1:28 left sealed it, the score coming when Montoya was heading toward the bench for an extra attacker. Montoya stopped 19 shots.
Florida was again without All-Star defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who hasn’t played since taking a huge hit from Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks on Jan. 11. Hendricks was penalized for boarding and subsequently suspended three games for the play, coincidentally returning to the Oilers’ lineup Monday.
And Florida was waiting for him.
Fans booed him when he got on the ice, and raised their volume when Hendricks was shown on the scoreboard video screens early in the game. Moments after that, Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson squared off with Hendricks — getting at least 11 right-handed punches in, while the Oilers’ forward did all he could just to stay on his feet.
The fight was one-sided.
The game wasn’t, but the Oilers — the NHL’s worst road team this season — will take it.
Hall opened the scoring not even 2 minutes after the fight ended, taking a pass from Purcell near center ice after a Florida turnover and coming in on a breakaway. He beat Montoya to the stick side, and Eberle’s goal with 2:08 left in the first gave Edmonton a 2-0 lead.
Hall struck again early in the second, again getting set up by Purcell.
Talbot gave up the two quick ones to Smith and Howden early in the third, but settled back into a groove from there and denied two big Florida flurries in the final minutes.
NOTES: The Oilers haven’t lost at Florida since 2002, winning in each of their last seven visits — four in shootouts and another in overtime. … Edmonton C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left in the second period with an undisclosed injury that apparently occurred while he was blocking a shot. … Gudbranson wasn’t on the Panthers’ bench in the third period. … Before Smith’s goal, Florida had only one in its last 205:39 of play. And then with Smith and Howden, the Panthers struck twice in 2:50. … Florida opened a four-game homestand, with Stanley Cup champion Chicago coming in next on Friday.
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