SUNRISE, Fla. — Aleksander Barkov completed his first NHL hat trick at 3:24 of overtime to give the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Barkov scored the game-winner when he took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau and came in alone on Frederik Andersen before beating him with a quick deke to his backhand. He is the first player in Panthers history to complete a hat trick in overtime.
“I still probably can’t believe it’s been like 10 years since my last hat trick, and I kind of forgot how it feels,” said Barkov, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft and has eight two-goal games in the League. “Maybe I will realize later what happened.”
Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said, “Obviously, Barkov was the best player on the ice by 10 miles.”
Huberdeau had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (12-13-6), who ended a four-game losing streak. Roberto Luongo made 29 saves.
Mitchell Marner scored two goals, and John Tavares got his 20th goal for Toronto (21-10-2), which has lost four of five. Andersen made 29 saves, and Morgan Reilly and Jake Gardiner each had two assists.
Florida led 2-0 before Toronto came back in the third period after switching its forward lines.
“The first two periods weren’t good,” Babcock said. “In the third period, we took over and really got to work.”
Tavares made it 2-1 at 10:24 when he tipped Gardiner’s shot from the point, and Marner tied it 2-2 at 16:21 with a wrist shot from the slot.
Barkov scored 27 seconds later to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead at 16:48, but Marner tied it 3-3 at 18:20.
“We finally got some rhythm,” Tavares said. “We just seemed a little flat tonight, and those are going to happen sometimes. You just have to find a way to get yourself going and keep yourself alive. In a lot of the third, we made a good push. We made a lot of good plays. Just a couple of mistakes ended up costing us.”
Barkov scored on the power play to give Florida a 1-0 lead with four seconds left in the first period when he took Evgenii Dadonov‘s pass across the crease and shot high into an open net.
“We’ve been talking a lot about playing a hard 60 minutes, and I feel like we really did,” Barkov said. “Of course, they tied a couple of times at the end, but we showed our character, and we came back and scored a couple more goals and won the game against a pretty good team.”
Huberdeau made it 2-0 at 8:03 of the second period with another power-play goal with a wrist from just inside the left face-off dot. He has 21 points in the past 11 games.
“It’s been working,” Huberdeau said. “I try to play simple. I feel more confidence with the puck, obviously. It’s just nice as a line to get going. We want to be a threat offensively every game, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Toronto was 0-for-4 on the power play. Florida went 2-for-4, extending its streak of home games with a power-play goal to 13, matching the 2017-18 Nashville Predators for longest streak in the NHL over the past 10 seasons.
“They scored on their power plays,” Marner said. “We have to be better on ours. Tonight wasn’t good enough, and it’s something we just have to be a lot better at. It’s something we can always improve on.”
They said it
“He probably doesn’t get enough recognition around the League for how good he is. He’s a really steady, smart two-way guy. He’s strong, big, smooth and reads the play well. He’s got great poise and a guy you have to be aware of our there.” — Maple Leafs center John Tavares on Panthers center Aleksander Barkov
“It’s been a bit of a struggle, a lot of ups and downs. Maybe it’s a game like this that can kick start something and (we can) play with that same compete we did tonight.” — Panthers coach Bob Boughner
Need to know
Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman played 16:33 in his return from a two-game suspension for interference on Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy on Dec. 8. … Toronto is 0-for-14 on the power play in the past three games. … Panthers forward Henrik Borgstrom, the No. 23 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had one shot on goal and was minus-1 in 12:18 in his season debut. … Florida forward Jace Hawryluk had two shots on goal and was minus-1 in 5:55 in his NHL debut.
Maple Leafs: At the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, TSN4, NHL.TV)
Panthers: At the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-F, NHL.TV)