[46-28-8]
1
4
[29-45-8]
12/29/2013
FINAL
1 2 3 T
Montréal Canadiens MTL 0 1 0 1
22 SHOTS 25
33 FACEOFFS 22
32 HITS 31
8 PIM 8
0/3 PP 0/3
6 GIVEAWAYS 7
5 TAKEAWAYS 3
14 BLOCKED SHOTS 9
         

Panthers snap slide by beating Canadiens

Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 11:19 PM

A collective effort helped the Florida Panthers put an end to a three-game losing streak Sunday.

Four players scored for Florida and Scott Clemmensen made 21 saves to lead the Panthers to a 4-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center.

Dmitry Kulikov, Brian Campbell, Aleksander Barkov and Sean Bergenheim had goals for Florida, which had dropped the first two games of its five-game homestand. Clemmensen has won eight of nine career decisions against the Canadiens.

"We've got to string together as many as we can get here," Campbell said. "Hopefully we can get a good start going and finish it off with a couple more at home here."

Brandon Prust had the lone goal for Montreal. Peter Budaj stopped 21 shots in the loss.

"Their team was quicker, stronger and more hungry than we are," Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov said. "We have to learn from that and move forward. There's no question we have to be better."

Kulikov opened the scoring with his second goal of the season 6:10 into the game. With the teams at even strength, Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann made a nice move around Markov at center ice and cruised into the Montreal zone before feeding a streaking Kulikov in the slot, where he one-timed Fleischmann's feed from the left circle past Budaj.

Prust tied it at 2:56 of the second period. Prust, who had gone eight straight games without a point, parked himself in front of the net, collected Raphael Diaz's shot from the right point that didn't get through, then turned around and wristed a shot past Clemmensen to make it 1-1.

But the Panthers regained the lead 1:55 later on Campbell's fifth goal of the season. The defenseman carried the puck into the Canadiens' zone and fired a shot from the slot that was stopped by Budaj, but the rebound landed in the crease and trickled over the goal line.

"I felt like we were relentless. We were on the puck all night," Campbell said. "We hounded them. I thought we skated well. I don't think we gave ourselves any excuses with playing [Saturday] night, I know they played as well. When we're skating and working hard, we can be a good team."

The Canadiens had a goal disallowed for the second time in the game with 12:37 left. Danny Briere swept a loose puck into the net, but it was ruled that Alex Galchenyuk prevented Clemmensen from playing his position before the shot.

Montreal also appeared to score with 6:34 remaining in the first, but the goal was waved off because Brian Gionta was called for knocking the puck down with a high stick at the blue line.

But Gionta, the Canadiens' captain, wasn't making any excuses for the loss.

"It was no surprise how they played," Gionta said. "We had a tough time with their speed in the neutral zone. We had a tough time getting out of our own end. We didn't win enough 1-on-1 battles. We lost a lot of pucks and had too many turnovers. We just didn't have a good effort all the way around."

Barkov scored made it 3-1 at 14:29. Brad Boyes made a nice move around Ryan White along the left-wing boards and sent a pass into the slot for Tom Gilbert. He wristed a shot that Barkov redirected past Budaj. Barkov has seven points in his past six games.

Bergenheim iced the win with an empty-net goal at 19:43 of the third. It was his fifth goal in the past six games and eighth of the season.

"A 60-minute effort it what I was asking for. I think we got that," Panthers interim coach Peter Horachek said. "We did pretty well in the first period. The second period, they kept skating. We had the lead going into the third. They kept pushing.

"They were going to put a push, we expected that. You have to learn to be comfortable playing in those one-goal games. When it was 2-1, I think I was comfortable with what the guys were doing. When you learn to do that, you're learning how to be a good team."

Material from wire services was used in this report

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