Five Alive: Habs win fifth straight
MONTREAL (AP) -Francis Bouillon scored 10:53 into the third period in his season debut and the Montreal Canadiens extended their winning streak to five games with a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
Bouillon, who was sidelined by a leg injury in Montreal's first five games of the season, restored the Canadiens' one-goal lead when he drove a slap shot from the left point past Tomas Vokoun for an unassisted goal.
Saku Koivu recorded his 600th career point when he scored for a third straight game in the first period. Tomas Plekanec scored into an empty net with 21.1 seconds remaining.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 35 shots in his second start of the season, losing a shutout bid on Keith Ballard's tying goal 7:20 into the third. The 23-year-old Slovak allowed one goal in a 6-1 win in Toronto on Oct. 11 that launched Montreal's current streak.
Ballard scored his first goal of the season for Florida, which fell to 2-3-0 in its first regulation loss at the Bell Centre in more than five years. The Panthers entered with five wins, one tie, and three non-regulation losses in Montreal since Jan. 28, 2003.
Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov extended his assists and points streaks to six games when he set up Koivu's goal during 4-on-4 play in the second.
Koivu scored his third goal of the season into a wide-open net 2:07 into the middle period after Markov made a no-look back pass into the slot after he fanned on a shot from the left side.
Markov, who has yet to score this season, has nine assists over the course of his streak and is tied with Koivu for the team lead in scoring.
As part of their centennial season celebrations, the Canadiens wore their white uniforms as they did for home games from 1970-71 to 2002-03.
Sergei Kostitsyn played left wing on a line with Alex Kovalev and Plekanec in place of his brother, Andrei, who suffered a concussion in Saturday's 4-1 win over Phoenix.
Linesman Greg Devorski left the game midway through the second period. He was treated for a lacerated ankle and returned for the beginning of the third period.
Notes: Despite the loss, the Panthers remain the only one of the NHL's 29 existing teams with a winning record overall against Montreal. Florida has 25 wins, 17 losses, six ties and five non-regulation losses against the Canadiens since joining the league in 1993-94. ... Bouillon, a defenseman, began the game as a left wing on Montreal's fourth line. He shifted to his regular position in the second period.
The Numbers Game: Oct. 20, 2008