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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Brandon Montour took a baby break between the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

With wife Ryian going into labor earlier than expected, the Panthers defenseman left Las Vegas not long after the series opener and flew back to Florida on a private jet. Montour made it in time to be there for the birth of the couple’s first child, a son they named Kai.

Montour returned for Game 2 and played 26:13, the most of anyone on either team.

“I tried to get there as quick as I could,” Montour said Wednesday recalling his whirlwind journey. “Luckily I was there for it all and got to experience it with her.”

The baby’s due date was June 18, and the plan was to induce labor on June 14. Ryian instead went into labor just before Game 1 started, but Montour didn’t learn that until General manager Bill Zito and coach Paul Maurice told him just after the final horn, and the journey began.

Montour said he left Las Vegas as the only passenger on the plane around 2 a.m. Eastern Sunday, arrived in Boca Raton around 6:30 a.m. and that Kai was born around noon. With little time to waste, he was back in Vegas by 10 p.m.

“Monty’s a physical specimen — he can handle a little fatigue,” said Maurice, a father of three. “It was a good way for him to get used to becoming a father, right? Or a mother, for that matter. Sleep (deprivation) is your life for the next 12 years. He flew back and forth a couple of times, was there for the birth, which was really a good thing to happen.”

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Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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