SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Ed Belfour made 32 saves, and Nathan Horton scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period in the Florida Panthers’ 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.

Gregory Campbell added a third-period goal to help the Panthers win for the fifth time in their last seven games. A standing-room crowd of 19,772 set BankAtlantic Center record for a hockey game.

Florida’s Ville Peltonen and Montreal’s Mark Streit scored first-period goals.

Cristobal Huet made 25 saves for Montreal. The Canadiens had won six of their previous seven games.

Horton scored his 14th goal at 5:59 of the third to give Florida a 2-1 lead.

After Panthers defenseman Branislav Mezei kept the puck in the Montreal zone at the blue line, Gary Roberts grabbed the puck and skated deep into the zone. Roberts fed Horton, who fired a wrist shot from the left circle to beat Huet short side.

Campbell scored his second goal at 9:41, poking the puck through a crowd in front of the Canadiens’ net.

Peltonen scored his fifth goal at 2:54 after taking a centering pass from Chris Gratton, who was behind and to the left of the Montreal net.

Streit knotted the score at 14:43 when his second goal came on a rebound of Chris Higgins’ shot on a 2-on-1 break.

Notes: Florida C Stephen Weiss returned after missing seven games because of a shoulder injury. … The crowd, apparently including many vacationing Canadians, favored Montreal by about a 60-40 split. … Florida’s only other sellout this season was opening night against Boston on Oct. 6. … The Panthers finished 7-5-2 in December.

AP-ES-12-29-06 2206EST


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