Sunrise, FL – Rene Bourque scored the game winner 2:10 into overtime to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 1-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday at BB&T Center.
Carey Price posted 26 saves to notch his 17th career shutout and help Montreal earn its second consecutive win on the heels of a three-game slide.
"The guys played very well in front of me," Price said. "We limited their scoring chances all game and they only got a couple of really quality chances all game."
Jose Theodore performed admirably in defeat, stopping 31-of-32 shots for the Panthers, who have lost three straight and four of their last five.
After neither team found the back of the net over the first 60 minutes, Bourque finally broke the scoreless deadlock just over two minutes into the extra session.
Alex Galchenyuk chipped the puck into the offensive zone before recovering the disc near the left circle. The Montreal forward then had his centering feed deflected into the air off the stick of a Florida defenseman, but Bourque was there to bat the puck out of midair and send the Canadiens to victory.
"(Galchenyuk) was trying to come to me a few times and it finally got across," Bourque said of the final play. "I don't knot if I hit it out of the air or I got my stick on the ice. I was just trying to whack it somewhere."
Montreal outshot Florida, 21-13, over the opening 40 minutes, but the visitors were unable to capitalize on a trio of power plays to keep the game scoreless.
Florida fought back with a strong final frame, outshooting the Canadiens, 13-9, but Price was able to keep the Panthers off the board to force overtime.
"We've lost some games in overtime but we're trying to move forward," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "This was a tough game for us. We got outworked for a stretch until we finally decided to play a simple game and things followed from there. But it wasn't enough to bring it home."
Florida swept the season series last year, but Montreal has taken both meetings this season, including a 4-1 decision in Montreal on Jan. 22 ... Montreal finished 0-for-3 on the power play, while Florida went 0-for-2 ... Montreal hosts Philadelphia on Saturday ... Florida host Tampa Bay on Saturday.