Panthers 5, Canadiens 2
MONTREAL (AP) _ Ray Whitney, Peter Worrell and Johan Garpenlov scored in a 4:28 span of the second period, and the Florida Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 Monday night.
Rob Niedermayer and Bill Lindsay also scored as the Panthers ended a four-game winless run and beat a key rival in their race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Shayne Corson and Igor Ulanov scored for Montreal, which suffered a second humiliating defeat in as many games. The Canadiens absorbed a 6-1 drubbing at home Saturday night from the lowly Tampa Bay Lightning.
Florida sits a point behind eighth-place Boston, which holds the last playoff spot. Both have played 63 games. Montreal remained five points back, but have played two more games than the Bruins.
The announced crowd of 20,323 booed as the lifeless Canadiens were outshot 13-7 in the second period, even though Montreal had a 33-27 advantage overall.
After goaltender Kirk McLean held off an early Montreal barrage, Niedermayer kicked Whitney’s rebound up to his skate and shot into an open side on the power play 12:02 into the game.
It was Florida that came out gunning in the second period, and Whitney stole the puck in the Montreal zone and beat Jeff Hackett after only 59 seconds.
Worrell scored on a rebound at 2:28, and Garpenlov finished a 2-on-1 with Radek Svorak at 5:27.
Corson got one back for Montreal at 15:01, banging in Saku Koivu’s rebound, but there would be no stunning collapse like in Florida’s 7-5 loss to Colorado last week.
Lindsay went to the net and put the puck by Hackett 4:54 into the third period. Ulanov scored with 3:59 left to play.