Huberdeau Puts Panthers Back In First With 2 Goals Against Devils
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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice to move the Florida Panthers back into first place in the Atlantic Division with a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Jaromir Jagr had a pair of assists and Al Montoya made 23 saves for Florida, which broke a tie with Tampa Bay for the division lead. The Lightning lost to Montreal 3-0 Thursday night.
Mike Sislo and Blake Pietila scored for New Jersey, and Keith Kinkaid made 36 saves.
Huberdeau scored his second goal by skating in along the goal line left of Kinkaid and banking in a close shot for his 18th at 3:13 of the third period.
Jagr's assist on the play gave him 60 points this season, marking the 18th time he had accomplished the feat.
Jagr also assisted on Aleksander Barkov's 24th goal at 17:52 to put Florida up by two.
The Devils opened the scoring during a shortened power play after a 4-on-4 stretch in a first period that featured five minor penalties.
Sislo collected a blocked shot in front of Montoya and netted his third goal at 8:30 for a 1-0 lead.
Devante Smith-Pelly assisted on the goal, giving him 12 points in 14 games since being traded to New Jersey by Montreal on Feb. 29. Smith-Pelly had the same amount of points in 46 games with the Canadiens.
Huberdeau took a diagonal pass from Thornton, was stopped by Kinkaid with the right skate on a shot in close but followed it up for his 17th goal at 7:57 of the second to make it 1-1.
Huberdeau, who set a career high Tuesday with his 16th tally, has goals in his last four games.
Pietila scored his first goal at 19:54.
NOTES: Tyler Kennedy returned to New Jersey's lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. ... G Cory Schneider (knee), who has missed 12 games, is expected to start Saturday in Tampa. ... Devils LW Patrik Elias (knee) participated in morning skate and has not ruled out returning this season. Elias turns 40 in two weeks. ... C Derek MacKenzie (out seven games) and D Erik Gudbranson (six) returned to Florida's lineup after suffering injuries blocking shots. ... Panthers LW Shawn Thornton's assist was his first point since Feb. 12 against St. Louis.
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