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Bouwmeester, Weiss score on power play to lift Panthers over Habs

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SUNRISE, Fla. - Jay Bouwmeester and Stephen Weiss scored power-play goals in the first period as the Florida Panthers beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 on Thursday night.

Richard Zednik, Radek Dvorak and Michael Frolik also scored for the Panthers, 7-1-3 in their last 11 games. Weiss added two assists, and Cory Stillman helped set up three goals.

Dvorak's goal came on a penalty shot at 11:03 of the third period and gave Florida a 4-1 lead.

Robert Lang scored a power-play goal for Montreal, which ended a five-game road trip with four consecutive losses. The Canadiens, on their longest losing streak this season, gave up at least four goals in every game of the trip.

Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves for Florida, improving to 6-1-2 in his last nine starts.

All-star starter Carey Price, making his third start since missing eight games because of an ankle injury, stopped 31 shots in the loss. Montreal had won the three previous meetings this season.

Bouwmeester opened the scoring at 3:54 with his team-leading seventh power-play goal. He put in a rebound after Price stopped Stillman's wrist shot from the wing.

Weiss scored at 15:36 on Florida's third power play of the first period.

After Florida came close to scoring a couple of times, Weiss' tip-in of Stillman's pass from behind the net bounced in off Price's pads.

After Lang made it 2-1 at 53 seconds of the second period, Zednik restored Florida's two-goal lead with a spectacular goal. Zednik took David Booth's pass off the boards in the Montreal zone and skated around defenceman Josh Gorges. Zednik held the puck while being tripped by Price and scored into an open net while falling.

Dvorak was awarded a penalty shot when he was hooked from behind by defenceman Mike Komisarek while on a breakaway. He beat Price with a wrist shot to the glove side on the penalty shot.

Frolik then tipped in Weiss' pretty backhand pass to make it 5-1 at 13:55.

Notes: Montreal's previous longest losing streak was three games. The Canadiens lost to Tampa Bay, Washington and Carolina in mid-December. ... Florida improved to 18-1-1 when leading after two periods. ... Canadiens D Andrei Markov had his streak of consecutive games with an assist snapped at nine. ... Montreal missed a chance to sweep its first season series against Florida since the Panthers entered the NHL in the 1993-94 campaign.

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