|Date of game: 3/3/2015
Recap: Florida vs. Toronto
Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs scored two goals in the third period for a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, snapping a franchise-worst 16-game road losing streak.
The Panthers? They spent part of the night wondering who their goaltender was going to be.
It nearly was a coach.
Roberto Luongo solved the problem, changing from street clothes back into his uniform to finish the third period for the injured Al Montoya.
Luongo, who took a shot off his right shoulder late in the first period and didn't return for the second, was forced back into duty after Montoya was hurt early in the third.
Confusion reigned as Montoya skated off to the locker room, then returned twice in the third period.
Amid the hubbub, Panthers goaltending coach Rob Tallas put on a uniform and took a seat on the bench under NHL Rule 5.3, which allows teams to dress any eligible player in a goaltender emergency.
Luongo made three saves after coming back in with 9:08 remaining in the game, but the Panthers were unable to tie the score despite peppering Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier with 17 shots in the third period.
"Obviously, we were really concerned," Florida head coach Gerard Gallant said. "We were playing a pretty good game and all of a sudden you lose two goalies pretty quick."
Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland both scored against Montoya in the first 5:28 of the third to give the Maple Leafs the lead. Tyler Bozak also found the back of the net for Toronto, which won on the road for the first time since Dec. 31 in Boston, bouncing back from consecutive 4-0 losses to Montreal and Washington.
"The guys feel good. They should feel proud of themselves," said Toronto interim head coach Peter Horachek. "They battled pretty hard."
Bernier finished with 40 saves.
Brandon Pirri and Aaron Ekblad scored for the Panthers, who entered the game two points shy of Boston for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They had a two-game winning streak snapped, falling to 2-2 on a seven-game homestand.
Luongo made 19 saves and Montoya gave up three goals on 15 shots. Luongo went out after taking a seemingly harmless shot off his shoulder from Leo Komarov with around four minutes remaining in the first period.
Montoya suffered an undisclosed injury on Kadri's game-tying goal 22 seconds into the third, which the center buried into the net after Jake Gardiner's shot hit off the end boards and got behind Montoya, who went to the ice.
Montoya left the ice, but returned, and Holland tipped the go-ahead goal past him on a rebound at 5:28.
Tallas, 41, also dressed as an emergency backup two years ago to the day in a 3-2 loss to Carolina when goaltender Jacob Markstrom's pads arrived late after he was recalled from the AHL. Tallas played sparingly during six NHL seasons for Boston and Chicago between 1996-2001.
Florida took the lead after Pirri beat Bernier between the legs with a wrister from the slot 19:42 into the first period.
Bozak tied the score on a power play 4:40 into the second, ending the Maple Leafs' goal drought at 163 minutes and 18 seconds since Dion Phaneuf gave them a 3-0 lead early in the third period of a 3-2 win over Philadelphia last Thursday.
Florida re-took the lead 13:12 into the period on Ekblad's power-play goal, which he scored with a one-timer from the point as he dropped to his knees.Game Notes
The Panthers are 2-1 against the Maple Leafs this season. The teams will meet
again in Toronto on March 26 ... Ekblad's goal was his 11th of the season,
setting a new franchise rookie record held since 1996 by Ed Jovanovski ...
Florida hosts Dallas on Thursday ... The Maple Leafs are 1-2 on a four-game
road trip that ends Thursday against Tampa Bay.