Rocco Grimaldi (2, 3) led the way with two goals within two and a half minutes in the second period for the Panthers. Aleksander Barkov (27) and Nick Bjugstad (14) also lit the lamp for the Cats. Reilly Smith (24, 25) earned two assists, leaving him just one short of the 50 point mark. That would make him the sixth Panther to hit that mark this season. He also sits just one goal short of 25, and would be one-of-four on the team if he bags one before the season ends.
Also earning assists for the Panthers were Aaron Ekblad (19, 20), Jonathan Huberdeau (38), Jiri Hudler (28), and Teddy Purcell (26).
The Maple Leafs, after trailing 3-0 with less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation, decided to make a game of it with three third period markers. Colin Greening (5, 6) and TJ Brennan (1) scored, with assists by William Nylander (5), Morgan Rielly (27), Rich Clune (4), Brad Boyes (16), Tyler Bozak (23) and PA Parenteau (20).
Al Montoya earned his 12th win of the season, stopping 22 shots, while Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves in defeat for Toronto.
With a Tampa Bay loss, the Panthers reduced the magic number to clinch the Atlantic Division from seven down to three, and could earn the title tomorrow night with a win over the Montreal Canadiens and a Lightning loss to the New York Rangers.
Pension Plan Puppets has more on the Leafs.
Tomorrow's game will get started at 7:30 PM back in Bell Centre in Montreal, PQ. Check our A.M. Recap tomorrow morning, participate in the Caterwaul after lunch, and pull up a chair for the GameThread, 30 minutes before kickoff.