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Canadiens 6, Panthers 5, SO @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL (AP) -The Montreal Canadiens showcased a glimpse of their All-Star abilities to win despite a less-than-stellar performance.

Andrei Markov scored the only shootout goal to give Montreal a 6-5 win Sunday over the Florida Panthers.

Markov, one of four Canadiens players elected to start this month's All-Star Game at the Bell Centre, put a backhand through Craig Anderson's pads on the Canadiens' third attempt after the Florida goalie denied Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn.

Montreal backup Jaroslav Halak stopped Cory Stillman, Nathan Horton and Michael Frolik after making 19 saves in his second straight start.

"I don't think anyone would disagree with you if you said it was an ugly win," said defenseman Mike Komisarek, who was picked as an Eastern Conference starter along with Markov, goalie Carey Price and right wing Alex Kovalev in fan voting announced Saturday.

Radek Dvorak scored his second goal of the third period with 1:38 remaining to draw Florida even at 5.

Dvorak, who also scored short handed 2:21 into the third, tied the game when he beat Jaroslav Halak off a scramble for his sixth goal at 18:22.

"The guys battled really hard to get us back in the game and get us a point," said Anderson, who made 22 saves.

Francis Bouillon, Andrei Kostitsyn, Tom Kostopoulos and Robert Lang scored unanswered goals in the second as Montreal recovered from an early two-goal deficit to take a 4-2 lead.

Kostitsyn scored his second of the game 3:58 into the third to restore the Canadiens' two-goal lead at 5-3.

Jassen Cullimore got his first goal of the season midway through the third for Florida, which blew a 2-0 lead built on first-period goals by Brett McLean and David Booth.

Halak was pulled after allowing three goals in the first two periods in Friday's 4-1 loss in New Jersey that ended a 3-1-0 road trip.

"At this time, we need him to be sharp," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We were able to get two points for him, which I think earlier in the season, when he was playing well, we were not able to get, but in the situation that he's in right now he needs to be a little sharper."

The Panthers have lost four of five (1-2-2) despite a 6-1 win in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

"You're never happy when you lose but we'll take the point and move forward," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said.

Bouillon and Kostitsyn scored 28 seconds apart as Montreal erased a 2-0 deficit 2:18 into the second.

Kostopoulos gave the Canadiens their first lead at 13:27 when he put his own rebound past Anderson. Lang made it 4-2 when his shot off the right post bounced in off Anderson for his 12th goal at 15:33.

Montreal came close to increasing its lead to three when Kovalev hit the right post with 45 seconds left in the second.

"We kind of lost momentum there and we didn't really get it back until the third period," Anderson said.

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