Barkov’s quick hat trick lifts Panthers over Canadiens 7-2

Barkov’s quick hat trick lifts Panthers over Canadiens 7-2

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov recorded a first-period hat trick and helped his team snap a three-game losing streak with a 7-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday in the evening.

Barkov scored the game’s first two goals in the first 11:50 and made it 3-1 with the third of the period.

Florida also got a pair of goals from Matthew Tkachuk with Carter Verhaeghe and Eetu Luostarinen scoring in the third, while Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves in the win.

Montreal, which has lost its last four, got goals from Arber Xhekaj and Josh Anderson.

Sam Montembeault, claimed off waivers by Montreal from Florida in 2021, earned the loss after making 34 saves.

Barkov got the fourth hat trick of his career with three goals scored in very different ways.

The first, 2:37 into the game, came when Gustav Forsling’s shot bounced off Barkov’s skate and past Montembeault.

Barkov, playing his first game after missing the last three with a lower-body injury, got the second on a snap shot from the left circle, while the third was scored in front of the net with a loose disc

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