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Winchester, Bjugstad lift Panthers past Canadiens

Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) and Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver (43) battle in front of the net during first-period NHL hockey action on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) and Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver (43) battle in front of the net during first-period NHL hockey action on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) and Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver (43) battle in front of the net during first-period NHL hockey action on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz) Gallery: Winchester, Bjugstad lift Panthers past Canadiens

MONTREAL (AP) - Jesse Winchester and Nick Bjugstad scored in a 2:27 span in the second period, and Scott Clemmensen made 17 saves in the Florida Panthers' 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night.

Alex Galchenyuk scored for Montreal, and Peter Budaj made 23 saves.

Florida extended its winning streak to three games, and Montreal lost for the third time in four games.

Winchester opened the scoring at 4:44 of the second, beating Budaj with a one-timer off the post. Tomas Kopecky started the play, drawing both Montreal defensemen behind the net before feeding Winchester.

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  • Bjugstad scored at 7:11, finishing off a 3-on-2 rush by firing a wrister under Budaj's glove.

    Galchenyuk scored at 2:28 of the third, banging home captain Brian Gionta's rebound from inside the crease with Montreal on a power play.

    Notes: The game was Montreal's third in four nights. ... The Panthers have won five of their last six games. ... Florida goalie Tim Thomas missed his second straight game after injuring his groin in practice Thursday. ... Budaj made his first home start of the season in place of Carey Price, who had a shutout against the New York Islanders on Saturday. ... Montreal has only scored three times in its last four games.

    The Associated Press
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