SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Nick Bjugstad scored Florida’s only goal in regulation and the game-winning goal in a shootout as the Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Bjugstad skated in and held the puck until Toronto goalie Frederick Andersen was sprawled out, then moved to his right and flipped in his goal during the fourth round of the shootout.
The Panthers won the tiebreaker 2-1 after Aleksander Barkov scored for Florida, and Patrick Marleau was successful for Toronto.
Vincent Trocheck and Henrik Haapala had assists for the Panthers (8-11-2).
Nazem Kadri netted a goal for Toronto (14-8-1), assisted by Connor Brown and Marleau.
Florida goalie Roberto Luongo and Andersen each made 42 saves.
The Panthers controlled play in the first period, registering the game’s first 11 shots, but neither team broke through until Florida scored on an odd bounce at 15:16 of the second period deep in Toronto’s zone.
Behind the Toronto net and with his back to Andersen, Bjugstad backhanded a puck that deflected off Maple Leafs defenseman Connor Carrick’s skate and then the stick of Andersen.
The puck popped in for Bjugstad’s fifth goal and a 1-0 lead.
Trocheck got the primary assist, but the secondary helper went to Haapala, who was making his NHL debut after being called up in the morning from the team’s AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Kadri tied it 1-all at 13:58 of the third period after the Maple Leafs gained control of a loose puck at center ice, sending Brown out leading a 2-on-1 break.
Brown slipped a pass from the left side to Kadri, who scored his 11th goal on a high shot over Luongo from the right circle.
NOTES: The Maple Leafs scratched C Dominic Moore, LW Josh Leivo and D Roman Polak. . Toronto’s 4-1 home loss to Arizona on Monday marked the 100th game of C Auston Matthews’ career. Last season’s winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy, honoring the NHL’s top rookie, Matthews had 52 goals by the century mark; only Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov had more (57) in that span. . Maple Leafs RW Mitchell Marner played in his 100th game. . The 23-year-old Haapala skated on the second line at left wing with Trocheck and Bjugstad. … Bjugstad’s goal was his 68th with the Panthers, breaking a tie with Bill Lindsay for 14th in franchise history. … Trocheck, Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are all averaging at least a point a game through 21 contests.
Maple Leafs: Friday night at Carolina.
Panthers: Saturday night at home against Chicago.
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