SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist to help the Montreal Canadiens extend their winning streak to five games with a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Thomas Vanek added a goal and an assist for Montreal and Carey Price made 36 saves. David Desharnais had an empty-net goal.
Pacioretty’s second goal put the Canadiens ahead 3-0 in the second period. Pacioretty camped at edge of the crease and tipped in a pass from Desharnais at 14:00 for his 35th of the season, a career high. Pacioretty has 11 points in his past 10 games.
Brad Boyes scored for Florida and Dan Ellis stopped 15 shots for the Panthers, who have lost five of their past six games.
The Panthers closed to 3-1 on Boyes’ goal. Boyes took a pass from Sean Bergenheim and wristed it past Price at 16:09 of the second. Boyes leads the Panthers with 19 goals, but that was his first in eight games.
The Canadiens’ two leading scorers each had goals in the first.
Montreal went ahead 2-0 on the first goal by Pacioretty. Daniel Briere passed from the left side across to Pacioretty at the ride side of the crease, who tipped it in with 2:57 left in the first.
This was the first time Pacioretty has scored goals against the Panthers. Coming into the game, Pacioretty had never scored on 50 shots in 16 career games against the Panthers, although he did have eight assists.
The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead on Vanek’s goal. Vanek took a shot from the slot that Ellis blocked but the puck drifted under Ellis’ pads toward the net. Ellis couldn’t find the puck but Vanek did and he skated in and poked it in at 10:47 of the first, his 27th of the season.
Vanek has six goals and 10 points over his past seven games.
Desharnais empty-net goal came with 23.4 seconds left.
Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo missed the game after sustaining a neck injury during a collision with Carolina’s Radek Dvorak on Thursday. Luongo is day to day.
NOTES: The Panthers recalled Scott Clemmensen from AHL San Antonio on Saturday to back up Ellis. … Canadiens C Tomas Plekanec missed Saturday’s game due to personal reasons.
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