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Associated Press
Tampa Bay goalie Anders Lindback blocks a shot by Florida’s Peter Mueller in the third period of their game Saturday in Sunrise, Fla.
NHL

Lightning strikes in OT to end 6-game skid

– Benoit Pouliot and Teddy Purcell helped the Tampa Bay Lightning finally get back on the winning track.

Pouliot scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, lifting the Lightning to a 6-5 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

The Lightning ended a six-game losing streak and got its first victory since Feb. 1 against Winnipeg, after opening the season at 6-1.

On the winning score, the puck bounced off the end boards and out to Pouliot, who was open in front. His wrist shot went into the net 1:19 into overtime.

“I was surprised it came back in front,” Pouliot said. “I just put my head down and went to the net. It made a weird bounce and came back out to me and I just put it in. Coming out of here with a big win like this; it’s going to be huge for us.”

Steven Stamkos also scored twice, and Purcell and Alexander Killorn each had a goal for the Lightning. Anders Lindback made 25 saves.

Purcell’s goal with 11 seconds left in regulation tied it 5-all as his shot from the slot hit off the post and into the net. Purcell was camped in front of the Panthers’ net as players scrambled for control of the puck while the final seconds of regulation ticked off, and was rewarded for his effort.

“I knew the puck was going to come out to the front,” Purcell said. “I was just trying to get a little space away from the defenders, and I was luckily uncovered and I was able to one-time it on net.”

Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau scored third-period goals to give the Panthers a lead they couldn’t hold. Jerred Smithson, Jack Skille, and Shawn Matthias also had goals for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore stopped 30 shots. Mike Weaver had two assists and Matthias also had an assist.

Florida lost its fourth straight and third in a row in overtime.

“We’re not finishing,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “You’re not going to get in the playoffs with 48 points. You can’t try to get a point a game; it’s just not going to work. We’ve got to find a way a more complete effort and end up with two points.”

ISLANDERS 5, DEVILS 1: In Uniondale, N.Y., John Tavares scored three goals and assisted on another to lead New York.

Matt Moulson had a goal and three assists, Michael Grabner scored with 35 seconds left, and Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves for the Islanders, who beat the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout Friday night.

Tavares, who notched his fourth career hat trick, has 20 points in 14 games. Moulson finished with four points, and Brad Boyes had two assists.

The Devils’ lone goal was Marek Zidlicky’s power play slap shot 8:47 into the third. Johan Hedberg made 28 saves for New Jersey, which has lost two of its last three.

Tavares’ tap-in of Boyes’ rebound opened the scoring 16:46 into the second. Tavares doubled the lead to 2-0 1:23 later.

MAPLE LEAFS 3, SENATORS 0: In Toronto, Ben Scrivens stopped 34 shots for his first career shutout to lead Toronto.

Scrivens was making his second straight start since incumbent James Reimer injured a knee in Monday night’s 5-2 win over Philadelphia.

The 26-year-old Scrivens has been solid as Reimer’s replacement, stopping 96 of the 100 shots he has faced.

Fraser McLaren, Tyler Bozak and John-Michael Liles scored for Toronto, which earned its fifth win in six games overall and improved to 3-4 at the Air Canada Centre.

Ottawa dropped to 2-5 on the road this season despite outshooting Toronto 34-28 in the first of five matchups this season between the provincial rivals. The Senators have now dropped six of their last eight games.

CANADIENS 4, FLYERS 1: In Montreal, rookie Brendan Gallagher had a goal and assist before leaving the game with an injury as Montreal won its third in a row.

David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque also scored for the Canadiens, who outshot the tired-looking Flyers 29-19.

Gallagher left four minutes into the third period after being hit into the boards by Luke Schenn and did not return. There was no immediate word on the injury.

Daniel Briere scored for Philadelphia, which has lost three of its last four games.

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