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Montreal at Florida

Canadiens outscore Panthers to win six of seven games on road trip

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Canadiens' success on a long road trip will not mean much if they don't make the most of their games back in Montreal, too.

Marc-Andre Bergeron and Benoit Pouliot scored in the first 4½ minutes of the third period and Montreal beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Thursday. The Canadiens, who haven't played at home since Dec. 17, won six of seven on their trip.

"That's awesome," Pouliot said. "Now we have to do the same thing at home."

Bergeron scored during Montreal's 5-on-3 power play to give the Canadiens a 4-3 lead 1:52 into the third. Pouliot stretched the advantage to two goals 2:37 later in front of the Panthers' first home sellout crowd of the season.

Radek Dvorak cut Florida's deficit to 5-4 at 6:03, but the Panthers couldn't overcome two consecutive penalties for delay of game.

Nathan Horton was whistled for shooting the puck over the glass at the end of the second period, and Jordan Leopold was called for the same infraction 13 seconds into the third. That gave Montreal a two-man advantage and set up the go-ahead goal.

"It was suicide," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "We put ourselves in that position and we paid for it. You can't shoot yourself in the foot like that and win too many games."

Andrei Markov added three assists for Montreal, which trailed 2-1 after the first period but went ahead 3-2 in the second. Michael Frolik got the Panthers even heading into the third.

"We finished the year on a good note and now we have to keep it going," Markov said.

Florida's Tomas Vokoun made 37 saves in the loss. Jaroslav Halak stopped 32 shots for Montreal.

Frolik forced the third tie at 12:08 of the second period when his wrist shot got past Halak to cap an odd-man rush. It was Frolik's 12th goal.

"The effort was there, but we don't have anything to show for it," Frolik said. "We came away empty."

After being outplayed through much of the first period, Montreal scored twice in the first 5:20 of the second to take the lead.

"A tremendous hockey game," Montreal coach Jacques Martin said. "We battled hard and they battled hard. It could have gone either way."

Michael Cammalleri, who leads the Canadiens with 20 goals, tied it 2-2 with a shot from inside the right circle that beat Vokoun to the short side on a power play.

Just over two minutes later, Tomas Plekanec took advantage of Vokoun being on one knee and scored his 10th goal to give Montreal its first lead.

Keith Ballard put Florida ahead 1-0 lead when he took a perfect feed from Vokoun on the left side and, after putting a spin move on defenseman Josh Gorges, scored a power-play goal 9:19 into the game.

"In the end, it was them converting their opportunities and we were left empty handed," Ballard said. "We had plenty of scoring chances, but they made the most of theirs. That was the difference."

Montreal got even 1-1 at 11:33 when Hal Gill fired a one-timer from the top of the circle that beat Vokoun high to the glove side.

Florida went ahead again less than four minutes later when Nathan Horton scored on a breakaway off a pass up ice from Stephen Weiss. Horton raced in untouched from the red line and beat Halak on a backhander with 4:52 left in the period.

Horton also assisted on Frolik's goal, giving him 28 points in the last 25 games. He has 10 goals in that span.

Notes

  • Martin returned for the first time since he was the Panthers' general manager in the 2007-08 season.
  • Vokoun's assist on Ballard's goal was the goalie's first since Oct. 10 against New Jersey.
  • Montreal went 0-6-1 on its previous seven-game road trip from Dec. 23, 2002, to Jan. 7, 2003.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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At the time of scoring, Benoit Pouliot did not know his goal would turn out to be the winning goal. (AP)
At the time of scoring, Benoit Pouliot did not know his goal would turn out to be the winning goal. (AP)
Scoreboard
Montreal  (21-19-3) «1225
Florida (16-18-7)2114
Three Stars
A. Markov
MON


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
N. Horton
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. Pouliot
MON


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:19Power Play - Keith Ballard (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vokoun
11:33Hal Gill (2), Slap Shot. Assist: O'Byrne, Gomez
15:08Nathan Horton (14), Backhand Shot. Assist: Weiss, Allen
2ND PERIOD
03:18Power Play - Mike Cammalleri (20), Slap Shot. Assist: Markov, Metropolit
05:20Tomas Plekanec (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Markov, Pacioretty
12:08Michael Frolik (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Horton
3RD PERIOD
01:52Power Play - Marc-Andre Bergeron (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Markov, Gionta
04:29Benoit Pouliot (4), Tip-In. Assist: Gomez, Gionta
06:03Radek Dvorak (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Stillman, McCabe
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:45Kostitsyn, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
02:58McCabe, 2 min, Tripping
08:39Lapierre, 5 min, Fighting
08:39Ballard, 5 min, Fighting
17:42Gionta, 2 min, Tripping
20:00Horton, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
3RD PERIOD
13.0Leopold, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
06:30Leopold, 2 min, High-Sticking
14:34Markov, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
Montreal15131442
Florida10131336
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Jaroslav Halak60:00324
Tomas Vokoun58:43375
Game Information
Attendance - 19851
Referees - Chris Lee, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Darren Gibbs
 
Other Games
NYI 2 Final
Ott 3
Nash 2 Final
OT
Colu 1
NJ 1 Final
Chi 5
LA 5 Final
Min 2
Ana 3 Final
Dal 5
SJ 3 Final
Pho 2
Edm 1 Final
Cal 2
Colo 2 Final
Det 4
Van 4 Final
OT
StL 3
NYR 2 Final
Car 1