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Horton, Belfour lead Panthers past Canadiens

Dec 30, 2006 - 7:17 AM SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Ed Belfour, Nathan Horton and the Florida Panthers closed out the calendar year on a positive note.

Belfour made 32 saves and Horton snapped a tie six minutes into the third period as the Panthers skated to a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

The veteran netminder improved to 5-0-1 in his last six starts in helping the Panthers finish December with a 7-5-2 record. Last month, Florida went just 3-7-3.

"Eddie stole the show, he played great for us," Florida center Chris Gratton said. "He kept us in the game. They had some great chances and he made some big, big saves for us, and it allowed us to gain some confidence and move in the other direction."

"The first 40 minutes, it was Eddie Belfour," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I thought we had tons of chances, really good chances to put the game away, and he stood really tall."

With the game even at 1-1, Horton blasted a shot from the left faceoff dot past goaltender Cristobal Huet at 5:59 of the middle session, giving the Panthers the lead. It was the third goal in as many games and fifth in six contests for the 2003 third overall pick.

"(Defenseman Branislav Mezei) stepped up, kept the puck in, got the puck in deep to Gary (Roberts), who found Nathan," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "That goal was really a goal scorer's goal. He did not have much room, he had to go upstairs. It was a great shot."

Ville Peltonen and Gregory Campbell also scored for Florida, which improved to 4-1-1 in its last six games.

Campbell gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead when he jammed a rebound past Huet at 9:41 of the third period.

"It was the kind of a goal you expect out of me, a dirty goal, a hard-working goal," Campbell said. "I think our line had more confidence as the game went along. We started to get some momentum and I finally got a bounce. I haven't been getting bounces lately, but I did tonight. It's a good sign."

"You could see on that goal that things didn't go our way tonight," Montreal defenseman Mark Streit said.

Streit netted the lone goal for Montreal, which received a 25-save performance from Huet but lost for the second time in three contests.

"We had enough chances to take the lead and to manage the game and get a win, but we just didn't bury our chances," Streit said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 0 1
    FLORIDA 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 5 (CHRIS GRATTON, DAVID BOOTH) 2:54
    MON - MARK STREIT 2 (CHRIS HIGGINS, SAKU KOIVU) 14:43
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 14 (GARY ROBERTS, BRANISLAV MEZEI) 5:59
    FLA - GREGORY CAMPBELL

    Dec 29 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    FLORIDA 3
    3RD PRD: FLA - GREGORY CAMPBELL 2 (JURAJ KOLNIK, STEPHEN WEISS) 9:41

    Canadiens vs. PanthersDec 29 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 14 (GARY ROBERTS, BRANISLAV MEZEI) 5:59

    Canadiens vs. PanthersDec 29 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1
    FLORIDA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 5 (CHRIS GRATTON, DAVID BOOTH) 2:54
    MON - MARK STREIT 2 (CHRIS HIGGINS, SAKU KOIVU) 14:43
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 16 11

    Dec 29 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 5 (CHRIS GRATTON, DAVID BOOTH) 2:54
    MON - MARK STREIT 2 (CHRIS HIGGINS, SAKU KOIVU) 14:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 16 16
    FLA

    Dec 29 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: MON - MARK STREIT 2 (CHRIS HIGGINS, SAKU KOIVU) 14:43

    Canadiens vs. PanthersDec 29 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - VILLE PELTONEN 5 (CHRIS GRATTON, DAVID BOOTH) 2:54

    Canadiens vs. PanthersDec 29 7:45 PM