3 - 2 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Panthers slip by Canadiens in SO

Mar 28, 2012 - 3:13 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Wojtek Wolski scored the lone goal of the shootout, leading Florida to a 3-2 victory over Montreal at Bell Centre.

Wolski and Mikael Samuelsson tallied in regulation for the Panthers, who opened up a five-point lead on Washington in the Southeast Division after the Caps lost at home to Buffalo.

Scott Clemmensen stopped 27 shots as Florida upped its point total to 89 by snapping a three-game slide.

"It was a good thing we got those two points tonight," the visiting netminder said. "We knew coming in that we have to get as many points as possible. There are teams below us in the standings that are still alive so we need them. That's why tonight's win was big."

Erik Cole and Louis Leblanc scored for the Canadiens, who dropped all four games to Florida in the season series.

Carey Price made 34 saves in regulation and Montreal, which is almost assured of missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2007, dropped its sixth game in eight tries.

Wolski ended the first round by making a quick pivot in front of the crease and scoring inside the left post. Samuelsson then failed to extend Florida's lead.

For the hosts, David Desharnais opened the shootout by missing wide, Tomas Plekanec failed on his wrister, then Leblanc fired wide to end the contest.

Wolski gave the visitors the lead with just under seven minutes remaining in the first period, beating Price to the near side high while leading a rush up the right wing.

Cole evened the score on a power play only 56 seconds later, then Leblanc gave the Habs a one-goal advantage with 1:03 left in the second period by slipping a backhander home off a breakaway up the middle.

Samuelsson knotted the game at 2-2 with 7:12 remaining in the third period when his floater from the right point near the boards sailed by an unscreened Price.

"I just lost it. I was kinda soft on it and I should have stopped it," admitted Price of the costly letdown. "I thought our guys played very well regardless. A lot of guys are still working for jobs and contracts next year."

Game Notes

The Panthers upped their shootout record to 6-10, while the Canadiens fell to 5-10...Florida has won three of its last four games in Montreal and improved its overall mark in the city to 16-11-5 with three ties since 1993.