Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov and goalie Carey Price take a breather during Saturday night’s game.
Christinne Muschi, Reuters
• At a Glance: The Canadiens’ four-game
winning streak came to an end Saturday night at the Bell Centre, Montreal
falling 3-1 to the Florida Panthers in the home team’s fourth game in six
nights. The Canadiens outshot the Panthers 41-31 but ran into a hot goaltender
in former one-game Hab Tomas Vokoun, who outdueled Carey Price at the other
end. The game marked the return of Montreal
defenceman Andrei Markov, who missed 21 games, including 11 last playoffs and
10 this season, after suffering a torn ACL in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference
semifinal vs. Pittsburgh.
Michael Frolik scored the first period’s only goal, flipping a rebound of a
Shawn Matthias shot past Carey Price at 12:10. Mathieu Darche got that one back
by jamming one past Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun at 2:13 of the second, a tie Montreal would
relinquish at 11:20. David Booth, twice robbed by Price on the same glittering
sequence, would draw a penalty shot when hauled down by Jaro Spacek on broken
coverage by Roman Hamrlik; Booth beat Price with a backhand on the free shot,
the second in as many games at the Bell Centre. Mathias put it away at 16:38 of
the third period, cashing a rebound.
• Key Moments: Booth was stoned by Price on a
shot and rebound in the second period, but came back to score on a
penalty shot at 11:19 of the second period for what would be the eventual
winner. The Panthers killed a lengthy 5-on-3 to start the third period, as
• What It Means: The Canadiens earned six of eight
points the past week but showed tired legs at times Saturday night, having
played on Long Island on Friday.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens head out on the road for a
pair: they’re in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets next Tuesday and in Buffalo
on Friday to face the Sabres before returning home to play Alex Kovalev’s
Ottawa Senators next Saturday night.