Canadiens edge Panthers in Hockeyville matchup in N.B.
Alex Belzile's short-handed goal late in 3rd wins it for Montreal
A short-handed goal by Alex Belzile with less than five minutes to play lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 pre-season win over the Florida Panthers Wednesday night in the 2019 Kraft Hockeyville game in Bathurst, N.B.
Evgenii Dadonov, Mike Hoffman and Jonathan Huberdeau replied for Florida as the Panthers lost their third straight.
Montreal was first on the scoreboard in a fast-paced first period.
WATCH | Canadiens pick up win in pre-season action:
Belzile fed Peca with a quick pass in front of the Florida net to beat goaltender Chris Driedger at 5:47 of the opening frame.
Florida had just come off the power play when Dadonov scored the equalizer at 15:55, beating Montreal netminder Charlie Lindgren on assists from Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad.
Petry fired through traffic from the point to beat Driedger low on the trapper side to restore Montreal's lead at 4:38 of the second period.
But the Panthers responded six minutes later on the power play when Hoffman fired a quick shot off a cross-ice pass from Aleksander Barkov and found the back of the Montreal net.
Huberdeau scored at the 6:48 mark of the third to give Florida the lead for the first time in the game. The Panthers forward is in his eighth season with Florida after a record-breaking 2018-19 campaign. He set the franchise-record for single-season assists with 62.
Florida's lead was short-lived, when Barber tied the game at 11:23 to set the stage for Belzile's winner.
This is the 13th year of Hockeyville. The small community of Renous, N.B., won $250,000 for repairs and upgrades to their rink, and the chance to host the NHL game. Because of the high demand for tickets, it was decided to hold the game in the larger venue in Bathurst.
Luongo in the house
Roberto Luongo said he was happy to represent Florida at Hockeyville in New Brunswick, giving him a chance to visit Bathurst where he helped the Acadie-Bathurst Titan win the Quebec Major Junior League championship in 1998-99.
"It's fun to be back. It's been a while but just to see the people outside and their enthusiasm brings back some great memories," Luongo said.
The 40-year-old announced his retirement in June following a career 489 NHL wins as a goalie.
"I'm happy with my decision and think it was the right one for me," he said.
Luongo said instead of working out all summer, he got to spend more time with family and enjoy a few extra slices of pizza.
Tkachuk's late empty-net goal lifts Senators over Leafs
Connor Brown, Tyler Ennis and Max Veronneau scored for the Senators as they beat Toronto for the second straight night to remain undefeated in the pre-season.
Craig Anderson allowed one goal on 22 shots through two periods before Filip Gustavsson took over in the third giving up one goal on 18 shots.
WATCH | Leafs' Matthews finds the net twice against Senators:
Auston Matthews, making his pre-season debut, scored twice for the Leafs. Nick Shore also scored while Michael Hutchinson gave up three goals on 20 shots through two periods, before Brandon Halberson allowed two goals on seven shots.
Matthews made it a one-goal game at the seven-minute mark of the third as he won a battle in the slot and batted a puck out of mid-air and past Gustavsson.
The Senators appeared to ice the game when Tkachuk put the puck into Toronto's empty net, but once again the Leafs were able to make it a one-goal game as Shore beat Gustavsson with 44 seconds remaining in regulation.
Pair of quick goals spark Jets
Andrew Copp and Sami Niku factored into a pair of goals 38 seconds apart to spark the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Niku and Copp then drew assists on Blake Wheeler's one-timer at 1:37 for the 2-0 lead.
Wheeler also assisted on defenceman Josh Morrissey's power-play goal late in the third period, while forward C.J. Suess added an empty-net goal with 1:15 remaining.
Backup goalie Laurent Brossoit stopped 20 shots for the Jets, who were playing the first of four exhibition home games. They lost 2-0 to the Oilers in Edmonton Monday.
Nico Sturm banged in his own rebound for Minnesota at 8:44 of the third period to make it 2-1.
Kahkonen made 18 saves for the Wild and Mat Robson started the third period and stopped 10.
Flames beat Sharks in high-scoring tilt
Dillon Dube had a goal and an assist to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-4 win over the San Jose Sharks.
The Flames improve to 2-1-0 in the pre-season.
Manuel Wiederer had a pair of goals for San Jose. Lean Bergmann and Ivan Chekhovich also scored as the Sharks fell to 0-2-0.
Considered one of the Flames top prospects, Dube got a chance to play on Calgary's top line. With Elias Lindholm sitting out, the 21-year-old lined up on his off wing, alongside left-winger Johnny Gaudreau and centre Sean Monahan.
Dube took advantage of the opportunity early. On his third shift, it was his touch-pass that sprung Gaudreau into the Sharks end and he slid the puck over to Monahan, who buried a wrist shot into the top corner.
Dube then scored a slick goal himself in the second period, although not with his high-profile line-mates. Halfway through a line change, Dube was set up in front by journeyman forward Byron Froese, and on a neat move to his forehand, he tucked the puck behind Antoine Bibeau making it 5-3.
It was a tough night for the two goaltenders. Bibeau and Jon Gillies, both 25, and with a combined nine years of AHL experience already, do not figure to be part of their club's NHL plans for 2019-20.
Bibeau made 16 saves, as did Gillies.