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PITTSBURGH (AP) -Sergei Gonchar's first goal gave Dan Bylsma his first win as an NHL coach.

Gonchar, playing only his third game after missing most of the season because of a shoulder injury, scored on a slap shot after Pittsburgh quickly squandered a two-goal lead in the third period and the Penguins beat slumping Montreal 5-4 Thursday night.

The Penguins had lost three of four before Ruslan Fedotenko fed Gonchar in the high slot, then went down low to screen goalie Carey Price in front to create the fifth goal in the first 7:18 of the third period. Evgeni Malkin and Max Talbot scored in the period's opening 3 minutes for Pittsburgh, but Andrei Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec scored less than 4 minutes apart to tie it at 4.

Plekanec scored his 13th and 14 goals and added an assist, and Kostitsyn had two assists to go with his 22nd goal, but the Canadiens - who have fallen from third in the East to sixth in a month - lost their second in two nights and 12th in 15 games.

After Gonchar scored his first goal since April 2, the Penguins finally protected a lead after failing to hold advantages of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 - exactly the kind of problems that led to former coach Michel Therrien's firing Sunday night.

Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan also scored for Pittsburgh.

Montreal's Mathieu Schneider scored his first goal since being traded back to the Canadiens by Atlanta for two draft picks Monday.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Mike Richards had two goals and three assists for a career-high five points, and Mike Knuble broke a third-period tie to help Philadelphia extend its winning streak to three games.

Richards scored his NHL-leading sixth short-handed goal and second in two games, and added an empty-netter. Darroll Powe, Glen Metropolit and Braydon Coburn also scored, and Martin Biron made 39 saves.

Jaroslav Spacek had two goals, and Derek Roy also scored for Buffalo.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Eric Staal scored two goals, including one in Carolina's big first period, and the Hurricanes kept pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Staal hit the 25-goal mark for the fourth time in his five NHL seasons less than a minute after Matt Cullen snapped a 1-1 tie with 3:45 remaining in the first period. Staal added No. 26 in the second to help Carolina win its fourth straight on thge road.

Ray Whitney and defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Anton Babchuk added goals, and Cam Ward stopped 22 shots. Mark Streit and Jon Sim scored for New York.

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