SUNRISE (CBSMiami/AP) — The Florida Panthes have been the hottest team in the NHL for over a month.
Roberto Luongo made 40 saves in his second shutout of the season, Nick Bjugstad scored his fourth goal in two games, and the Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-0 on Thursday night for their seventh straight home win.
Evgenii Dadonov had a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trocheck, Micheal Haley and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for the Panthers, who have points in eight straight games. Keith Yandle added three assists, and Aleksander Barkov had a pair.
The Panthers are two points behind Columbus for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with three games in hand.
Charlie Lindgren stopped 27 shots for the Canadiens, who lost their second straight.
Leading 3-0, Dadonov’s one-timer from the right circle stretched the Panthers lead to 4-0 at 1:23 into the third period.
Trocheck’s short-handed goal with 5:03 left in the third made it 5-0.
Leading 1-0, the Panthers added two goals in the first 2:44 of the second.
Bjugstad took a pass from Barkov in the slot and backhanded the puck into the net at 1:41 to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Bjugstad, who had a hat trick at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, has 10 points in his last eight games. Barkov has an eight-game point streak.
About a minute later, Derek MacKenzie passed from behind the net to Haley in the slot and Haley fired the puck past Lindren to make it 3-0.
Montreal appeared to score at 16:30 of the third when Paul Byron poked in a loose puck, but the call was overturned on a coach’s challenge when it was determined Jacob de la Rose interfered with Luongo.
Huberdeau put the Panthers ahead 1-0 on his power-play goal with 3:44 left in the first period. Trocheck backhanded a pass from the left circle to Huberdeau in the slot, and Huberdeau one-timed the puck over Lindgren’s shoulder.
NOTES: The game marked Claude Julien’s 250th as the Canadiens’ coach. … D Rinat Valiev suffered a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return. … Montreal is 0 for 13 on the power play in its past four games. … Huberdeau has surpassed 20 goals (21) for the first time in a single season in his NHL career. … Dadonov has five consecutive multipoint games (3-7-10). … Yandle has 20 points in his last 18 games.
Canadiens: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Panthers: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)