MONTREAL (AP) – Michael Ryder scored his second overtime goal of the season on a power play, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Montreal’s Steve Begin scored a power-play goal with 8.1 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 4. Ryder, who scored the overtime winner in the Canadiens’ win on Oct. 6 against the New York Rangers, one-timed Saku Koivu’s pass beyond Montreal native Roberto Luongo 3:19 into the extra period.

Stephen Weiss scored a pair of third-period power-play goals to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead, their first of the game.

Defensemen Craig Rivet and Francis Bouillon scored power-play goals, and Richard Zednik also scored for Northeast Division-leading Montreal.

Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore won his second game in as many nights. Koivu, who also set up Begin’s goal, had three assists as Montreal took over sole possession of first overall in the Eastern Conference with 19 points.

Luongo made 33 saves, including a sensational pad stop on Zednik with the Canadiens on the power play with just over 1:00 left in the third.

Trailing 3-1, Florida came back and tied it on Horton’s goal late in the second and Weiss’ power-play score midway through the third.

Weiss gave the Panthers their first lead of the game when he beat Theodore at 15:25.

Nathan Horton and Martin Gelinas also scored for Florida, which lost 2-1 in Toronto one night earlier.

With Gelinas in the penalty box and Theodore on the bench for an extra attacker, Begin put a rebound of Rivet’s point shot past Roberto Luongo, bringing on a thunderous cheer from the sellout crowd of 21,273.

Rivet opened the scoring 2:28 in with his first of the season, beating Luongo with a shot from the left point with 14 seconds remaining in Montreal’s first power-play opportunity.

Zednik, who returned from a groin strain Thursday in Ottawa, made it 2-0 on the Canadiens’ sixth shot against Luongo, finishing off a pretty passing play with linemates Koivu and Alex Kovalev for his second goal in his last three games.

With Montreal enjoying an 11-1 margin in shots, the Panthers suddenly jumped back in the game at 15:26 with a goal off a pair of shots in quick succession. Theodore stopped Hill’s slap shot from the right point but Gelinas jumped on the rebound and scored his fourth of the season to draw Florida within 2-1.

Bouillon restored the Canadiens’ two-goal lead early in the second, making it 3-1 with his first of the year at 2:05.

Notes: The Canadiens wore vintage jerseys, replicas of an earlier version of their white sweaters featuring the familiar blue band from their red uniform. … Panthers C Joe Nieuwendyk missed his sixth straight game because of back spasms. … Florida didn’t manage its first shot against Theodore until Juraj Kolnik took one more than 9 minutes in. … Canadiens C Radek Bonk was out of the lineup for a second straight game. Bonk strained his groin in practice Monday and didn’t play in Montreal’s 4-1 win in New York. … Montreal has sold out each of its seven games at the Bell Centre.

AP-ES-11-01-05 2233EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.