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Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) reacts with teammates including Jussi Jokinen (36) after scoring the game winning a goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) during the overtime period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports)
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) reacts with teammates including Jussi Jokinen (36) after scoring the game winning a goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) during the overtime period at the Bell Centre. (Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports)

HOCKEY

Ekblad scores overtime win as Panthers beat Canadiens 4-3 Add to ...

Aaron Ekblad scored in overtime as the Florida Panthers beat the Canadiens 4-3 on Tuesday night, handing Montreal its first two-game winless streak of the season.

Alex Petrovic, Kyle Rau and Denis Malgin scored for the visiting Panthers (8-7-1) in regulation time. Roberto Luongo made 34 saves.

Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Paul Byron scored for Montreal (13-2-2). Carey Price made 20 saves in his first loss of the season.

Ekblad scored the winner at 2:51 of overtime when his broken-stick shot deflected off Canadiens defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and in.

The loss was Montreal’s first at home this season (10-0-1) and first when scoring the first goal of the game (12-0-1).

Price allowed more than two goals in a game for just the second time this season.

Down 3-2 to start the third period, Byron scored his team-leading sixth goal of the year to level the score. After Luongo made an initial save on Brendan Gallagher from a tight angle, the puck squeaked through his pads and Byron was there for the tap-in.

With an assist on the goal, Alex Galchenyuk extended his point streak to six games.

After Pacioretty opened the score for Montreal, on the power play at 2:12 of the first, Petrovic got the ball rolling for the Panthers less than three minutes later following a bad giveaway by Phillip Danault.

Rookie defenceman Michael Matheson, a Montreal native, was playing his first ever game at the Bell Centre.

Matheson, who was drafted by the Panthers in the first round in 2012, picked up an assist on Florida’s second goal. Pinned behind Montreal’s net, the 22-year-old fed Rau in the slot with a clever no-look, between-the-legs pass to make it 2-1 for the visitors.

With Brian Flynn still out of the lineup with an upper-body injury, Desharnais got the start on the wing next to Tomas Plekanec.

Desharnais recorded an assist on Pacioretty’s goal in the first period for his first point in his last 12 games. In the second period, Desharnais scored his first goal since the team’s home opener on Oct. 18 – blocker side on Luongo from in close at 4:22 to tie the game at 2-2.

Malgin beat Price late in the second period with a weak shot from distance that took a strange deflection off defenceman Jeff Petry to make it 3-2.

Alexander Radulov missed the game due to illness. That meant winger Chris Terry made his season debut for the Habs.

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