SUNRISE - The Canadiens were bested 6-5 by the Panthers on Sunday night.
As expected, plenty of Habs fans were in attendance at the BB&T Center to cheer on their favorite team.
Sunday's game was particularly significant for forward Jordan Weal. The 27-year-old winger suited up for the 200th game of his NHL career. A former third-round selection of the Los Angeles Kings in 2010, Weal has 28 goals and 61 points since debuting in the NHL ranks.
The Panthers took the lead just 4:34 into the first period courtesy of a goal by Noel Acciari.
Acciari recovered a loose puck in front and put it home to give Florida a 1-0 advantage.
Just 2:01 later, captain Aleksander Barkov beat goaltender Carey Price with a backhander to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
The Canadiens fought back, capitalizing on a power play chance with 6:29 remaining in the opening frame.
Tomas Tatar capped a perfect passing play started by Nick Suzuki to register his 16th goal of the season.
With a helper on the tally, Suzuki extended his point streak to five games.
The Canadiens trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes. Montreal outshot Florida 10-9 heading into the intermission.
Jeff Petry tied things up just 80 seconds into the middle stanza. He patiently waited for a perfect shooting opportunity before burying the puck past goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
It was Petry's fifth goal of the season.
The Canadiens finally took the lead for the first time in the game 52 seconds later courtesy of Max Domi.
The 24-year-old centerman extended his scoring streak to five games.
For his part, Suzuki collected his third assist of the contest on Domi's marker.
The Panthers didn't take long to respond, though. Just 1:29 later, Barkov's second goal of the game made it 3-3.
Jonathan Huberdeau put Florida up 4-3 with 6:30 left before the break.
Thirty-five seconds later, Huberdeau struck again and put head coach Joel Quenneville's contingent up by two.
The Canadiens were down 5-3 through two periods.
Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson further extended Florida's lead just 45 seconds into the third period.
But a power play goal by Jesperi Kotkaniemi cut into the Panthers' lead again.
It was his second goal in as many games and his fifth goal of the season.
Capatain Shea Weber cut the Panthers' lead to just a single goal with 1:52 remaining in regulation time, but that's as close as Julien's squad would get.
The Canadiens will be back in action on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh.