Pens can’t finish rally

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers cut it close — again.

Evgenii Dadonov scored with 1:53 to play to complete a hat trick and give the Panthers a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Dadonov beat goalie Matt Murray on a one-timer off Aleksander Barkov’s pass for the winner.

“The old saying, your best players got to be your best players in games like this. He definitely was,” Florida coach Bob Boughner said. “He looked like he had it early. He has some great patience with the puck. It was a big goal at the end of the game, and he delivered.”

Dadonov has 18 goals this season.

The Panthers beat Washington 3-2 on Thursday on Vincent Trocheck’s goal with 20 seconds to play.

The winner Saturday came after Pittsburgh, playing on the second night of back-to-back contests, rallied to erase a 5-3 deficit in the third.

“We scored six goals. I guess you can’t lose it if you score six. You’re not supposed to. It was a tough game today,” Dadonov said.

Trocheck, Jamie McGinn and Derek MacKenzie also scored. Barkov had three assists, Keith Yandle and Alexander Petrovic added two assists, and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves.

“He’s an elite goal scorer in this league and in this world,” Barkov said about Dadonov. “He was scoring a lot of goals in Russia and it was just a matter of time when the puck starts going.”

Evgeni Malkin had two goals and an assist for the Penguins, and Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust added goals. Tristan Jarry made 13 saves for Pittsburgh before he was replaced in the second period. Murray had 11 saves in relief.

Trocheck finished a 2-on-1 cross-ice pass from Denis Malgin after a breakout pass from Yandle early in the first period. Trocheck tapped in the pass at 3:44 for his team-leading 24th goal.

The Penguins tied it when Hagelin tallied from the low slot, scoring his eighth goal at 12:40.

On the ice

Today: Idle

Next game: Tuesday, New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m.

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