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Panthers stop Lightning’s win streak at seven

AP

The Florida Panthers are proving they are one of the elite teams in the NHL.

Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist, sending the Panthers to a 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay that ended the Lightning’s seven-game winning streak Saturday night.

After drubbing the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Friday, the Panthers have beaten both of last season’s Stanley Cup finalists on successive nights.

Decisively, too.

“We knew it was going to be two tough games,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “It was a good challenge for our team.”

The Panthers won their second straight after a four-game skid and increased their lead in the division to five points.

“We know we can beat any team in the league,” Huberdeau said. “We know what we’re capable of and we showed it this weekend.”

Brian Campbell, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith and Nick Bjugstad also scored for Florida. Roberto Luongo stopped 38 shots.

Luongo gave up two goals late in the third, halting a scoreless streak of 127 minutes, 9 seconds. The Lightning took 22 shots during the period.

“I need a lot of rest after tonight,” Luongo said.

Victor Hedman and J.T. Brown scored for the Lightning. Ben Bishop, who allowed four goals in his previous four starts, gave up four on 30 shots. He was replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy at the start of the third period.

“We got away (from) what’s made us successful the past couple games,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said.

Vasilevskiy stopped four shots, and Tampa Bay played with an empty net for much of the third period, first pulling the goalie with 10:27 left.

“You’re trying to get back in the hockey game. They had a 4-0 lead,” coach Jon Cooper said. “We’re trying to win the game. Give Florida credit. They didn’t let us get that second goal.”

Avalanche 3, Stars 1

In Dallas, Carl Soderberg and Gabriel Landeskog each scored a short-handed goal, and Colorado beat the Stars for its fourth consecutive victory.

Sharks 4, Wild 3

In San Jose, Joe Pavelski scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:28 remaining to lead the Sharks to their seventh win in eight games.

Penguins 5, Canucks 4

In Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin scored three times to help the Penguins rally for the win.

Ducks 4, Red Wings 3

In Detroit, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler each scored twice to lift Anaheim to the victory.

Bruins 3, Blue Jackets 2 (SO)

In Boston, Ryan Spooner and Torey Krug scored in the shootout, leading the Bruins past Columbus.

Canadiens 3, Leafs 2 (SO)

In Toronto, Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller scored in the shootout, and Montreal stopped a five-game winless streak.

Devils 3, Jets 1

In Winnipeg, Lee Stempniak scored twice and Corey Schneider made 22 saves.

Coyotes 3, Kings 2

In Glendale, Arizona, Jordan Martinook scored 22 seconds into the third period to snap a tie, Shane Doan had a goal and an assist in the win over Los Angeles.

Predators 4, Oilers 1

In Edmonton, Mattias Ekholm scored twice in Nashville’s victory over Edmonton.

Mike Fisher and Filip Forsberg also scored.

Flyers at Islanders — ppd.