It was a night of firsts for the Canadiens two youngest players in the team’s 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Alex Galchenyuk, 18, scored his first goal in the National Hockey League. And Brendan Gallagher, 20, who played his first NHL game, got an assist on the goal.
Galchenyuk scored in the second period, deflecting a shot from Brandon Prust past Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.
He skated over to the boards, jumped for joy and raised his arm. The cheers from the Bell Centre crowd were so deafening they partially drowned out the goal announcement.
Coach Michel Therrien called it a team victory, saying everyone contributed. At his post-game press conference, Therrien dished out praise for several players including Galchenyuk and Gallagher.
“Those two players with Brandon Prust bring a lot of energy with their speed and their work ethic,” he said.
Everyone on the bench was pleased for Galchenyuk “and I was happy for him too,” Therrien said.
It was Galchenyuk’s second NHL game. His parents and sister traveled to Montreal last weekend to take in the Canadiens season-opener and Tuesday’s game.
“I thought he felt more comfortable and that’s normal,” Therrien said. “I thought he skated well and was (able) to make plays…He played more his type of game than compared to the first one.”
“I thought he did a fantastic job.”
Gallagher brings speed and intensity, Therrien said. “He works so hard that kid—he’s always around the net. And I thought he did a good job.”
Therrien also praised defenceman Andrei Markov who turned in a strong performance scoring two power play goals.
You can hear Galchenyuk talk about scoring his first NHL goal below:
You can hear what Gallagher had to say below:
You can hear what Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had to say here:
You can hear what Andrei Markov had to say below: