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Panthers' Mike Hoffman dekes by Antti Niemi, nets one-handed goal

By Connor Grott
Panthers' Mike Hoffman dekes by Antti Niemi, nets one-handed goal
Florida Panthers forward Mike Hoffman scored a fantastic goal against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. It was his 22nd goal of the season. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Florida Panthers forward Mike Hoffman scored his 22nd goal of the season in spectacular fashion with a swift move around Montreal Canadiens goaltender Antti Niemi.

Hoffman collected a turnover by the Canadiens in their defensive zone and skated into a wide-open crease. He deked to his backhand and used one hand to slip the puck around Niemi for Florida's lone goal of the game.

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The Panthers fell 5-1 to the Canadiens on Tuesday night, marking the team's seventh consecutive loss.

"Yeah, it's frustrating," Hoffman told reporters after the game. "We wanted to come into this building and this game and have a shot-first mentality and we definitely did that. We could have very easily had three, four, five goals. [Niemi] made a few good saves and we didn't really capitalize on some of the chances and that's the story of the night."

Hoffman has 41 points through 45 games this season since being traded to the Panthers on June 19, 2018. The forward's current statistical pace would top his career highs in goals (29) and points (61) for a single season.

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The Panthers (17-20-8) have struggled this year and only top the Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division. Florida hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs (28-15-2) on Friday night.

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