Al Montoya made one of the best stops of the season Thursday night when he dove across his crease, stretched out his arms and knocked away an Aaron Ekblad shot that looked destined to light the lamp.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Al Montoya absolutely robbing Aaron Ekblad with a diving save!
All right, so that’s slightly more wordy than the original, but you’d have a hard time knowing the Montreal Canadiens netminder didn’t have a blue suit and red cape under his equipment following an incredible save he made Thursday night on the Panthers rearguard.
Montoya’s fantastic stop — one that rivals some of the best made over the course of the first two and a half months of the campaign — came midway through the second frame, with the Canadiens trailing the Cats by one and Florida on the man advantage. As Florida worked the puck to the point, a shot came in from Keith Yandle, where it was then deflected down and to the side of the net off the body of Nick Bjugstad.
Spotting the puck sitting open, Ekblad charged hard for what looked like it would be a tap-in, only for Montoya to soar through the air to his right and knock the puck away:
The best view of the stop, though, comes from Fox Sports Florida. The angle from the left wing boards shows that Ekblad had a lot of daylight as far as burying the puck went, but the outstretched arms of Montoya managed to catch enough of the puck to send it wide:
Montoya’s save would end up being a big one, too. The Canadiens entered Thursday’s game having dropped their past three outings, and Ekblad’s failure to score kept Montreal within striking distance for the remainder of the game. That paid dividends with roughly 2:30 remaining, as Brendan Gallagher netted the game-tying goal off a nice feed from Phillip Danault, who then capped off the game by scoring just 39 seconds into overtime to give Montreal the victory.
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