PANTHERS 4, CANADIENS 2: Stephen Weiss scored two goals and set up another while Sean Bergenheim added a tally and two assists as Florida topped Montreal to halt their four-game home losing streak.
Defenseman Brian Campbell also scored, Mikael Samuelsson added two assists and Scott Clemmensen made 18 saves while also setting up a score for the Panthers, who moved two points ahead of idle Winnipeg for sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division.
After spotting Montreal an early 2-0 lead, Florida got on the board midway through the first period on Weiss' 14th goal of the season. Peter Budaj stopped defenseman Keaton Ellerby's shot, but Weiss buried the rebound from the doorstep to end his 11-game goalless drought.
Bergenheim tied the contest during a power play 69 seconds into the middle session as he beat Budaj from the left faceoff circle for his 14th tally this campaign and seventh in 12 games. Weiss put the Panthers ahead for good less than three minutes later, knocking in another rebound on the doorstep for his third two-goal performance of 2011-12.
Campbell created some breathing room midway through the third with a blast from just above the slot.
David Desharnais had a goal and an assist while defenseman P.K. Subban scored during a two-man advantage for the Canadiens, who have lost four in a row.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Montreal has dropped six of its last seven games and remained in the Eastern Conference basement, one point behind Carolina. ... The Canadiens have scored a total of four goals during their four-game skid. ... With two assists, Bergenheim doubled his season total. All four helpers have come this month. ... Clemmensen's assist was the second of his career. He notched his first with the Panthers last season.