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Andrei Markov scores shootout winner as Montreal edges Florida 6-5

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MONTREAL - Andrei Markov scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Montreal Canadiens twice gave up two-goal leads in the third period but held on to beat the Florida Panthers 6-5 for their fourth win in five games on Sunday.

Markov was the final shooter and deked Florida goalie Craig Anderson with a backhand move between the legs to win the game.

Andrei Kostitsyn scored twice while Robert Lang, Francis Bouillon and Tom Kostopoulos also scored for the Canadiens (22-10-6), who moved past the idle New York Rangers into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Radek Dvorak scored twice in the third period - including the equalizer with 1:22 to play in regulation - and Brett McLean, David Booth and Jassen Cullimore also scored for the Panthers (17-16-6), who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves, but allowed three goals on 11 shots in the third. Halak has allowed eight goals on 57 shots in his last two games starting in place of the injured Carey Price.

Anderson was playing his second game in less than 24 hours after stopping 29 shots in a 6-1 win in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Anderson allowed five goals on 45 shots, but stopped 10 of 11 in the third to allow the Panthers to come back.

Down 4-2 entering the third, the Panthers took control of an up and down game early in the period when Dvorak pounced on an Alex Kovalev turnover and scored on a short-handed breakaway at 2:21.

Kostitsyn quickly got it back with his 11th on a snap shot to the top corner at 3:58, but Cullimore beat a screened Halak at 9:22 to make it 5-4 Montreal.

Following a goal-mouth scramble, Halak was still looking for the puck when it came out to Dvorak, who it fired home at 18:22 to tie it up 5-5.

After the Panthers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first the Canadiens dominated the second, outshooting Florida 19-5 and scoring four straight goals.

Montreal scored twice in 28 seconds early in the second to quickly erase the deficit.

Bouillon's third of the season came on a long slap shot that beat Anderson to the glove side at 1:50.

Off the ensuing faceoff, the puck went in the Panthers end and Anderson came out to the circle to play it. But Sergei Kostitsyn intercepted the puck and found his older brother Andrei in the slot, who had an open net to shoot at for his 10th of the year at 2:18.

The Canadiens had another flurry later in the second, scoring twice in just over two minutes to grab a 4-2 lead.

Kostopoulos was left all alone in front and given three tries before scoring at 13:27, and Lang's wrist shot rang off the post, off Anderson and in for his team-leading 12th at 15:33.

The Panthers controlled the game early on and McLean gave them a 1-0 lead when he wheeled around the net and tucked a backhand inside the far post for his third of the year at 12:57.

Then with Josh Gorges and Maxim Lapierre in the box, Booth tipped a Bryan McCabe point shot past Halak for his 16th of the year at 18:09 to make it 2-0 Panthers.

Notes: The Canadiens were missing injured regulars Saku Koivu (leg), Christopher Higgins (shoulder), Alex Tanguay (shoulder), Mathieu Dandenault (arm), Georges Laraque (groin) and starting goalie Carey Price (lower body). . . The Panthers were missing Rostislav Olesz (groin), Kamil Kreps (shoulder) and Bryan Allen (knee). . . Canadiens centre Maxim Lapierre was presented with the Molson Cup Award for December prior to the game. . . The game was attended by several NHL executives taking the two-hour drive down from the world junior championships in Ottawa, including 2010 Canadian Olympic team management committee members Steve Yzerman, Ken Holland, Kevin Lowe and Doug Armstrong.

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