Pysyk’s hat trick powers Panthers to important win over division rival Leafs
Florida is now 7-1-0 over its last 8 games
TORONTO – Mark Pysyk scored three times in his first career hat trick, and the Florida Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 on Monday night.
Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist for Florida, which trailed 3-1 early in the third period.
Mike Matheson had three assists, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves in the Panthers’ seventh win in eight games.
Frederik Andersen started for Toronto and stopped seven of eight shots before departing with an upper-body injury after a collision with Panthers center Frank Vatrano.
Michael Hutchinson came in and allowed three goals on 13 shots.
Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares scored for Toronto, which had won three in a row. Mitch Marner had two assists.
The win is the seventh in eight games for Florida, which leapfrogged the Maple Leafs and moved into third place in the Atlantic Division.
Toronto dropped all the way to tenth place in the Eastern Conference with the loss.
Matthews’ 37th goal of the season made it 3-1 38 seconds into the third. But Pysyk and Huberdeau scored 58 seconds apart, tying it at 3 at 3:18.
Hoffman put the Panthers ahead to stay when he banked his 19th off Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci and through Hutchinson’s pads at 10:30.
Florida, which beat Toronto 8-4 in Sunrise on Jan. 12, weathered a late surge by the Maple Leafs before Pysyk completed his hat trick with an empty-netter.
The Panthers were without Aleksander Barkov, who was sidelined by a lower-body injury. The star center got hurt during Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Montreal in Florida’s first game back after the All-Star break and bye week.
Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win against Ottawa with an illness, while winger Kasperi Kapanen was also back following a one-game banishment to the press box for being late to Friday’s practice.
Andersen, who watched Hutchinson pick up the victory Saturday, was injured when Vatrano slid into the goaltender off the rush. He didn’t appear to be favoring anything as he got to his feet, but Hutchinson took over to start the second.
NOTES: Florida D Anton Stralman, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NHL draft by Toronto and played parts of two campaigns with the Leafs, suited up for the 800th regular-season game of his career.
Panthers: Visit Columbus on Tuesday.
Maple Leafs: Visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
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