NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Florida|
(Saturday, December 31st)
Final Score: Florida 3, Montreal 2
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Tomas Fleischmann netted two goals as the
Florida Panthers took a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Fleischmann's second goal was an empty-netter with 41 seconds left in
regulation that seemed to ice the game at 3-1, but Montreal's Erik Cole raced
down the right side of the ice after the Canadiens won the ensuing faceoff and
slipped a backhander past Scott Clemmensen 11 seconds later to bring Montreal
back within a goal.
The Canadiens could not net the equalizer, though, despite firing a flurry of
shots at the net in the closing seconds as Florida hung on for the win.
Shawn Matthias scored the other goal for the Panthers, winners of two of their
past three games.
Jose Theodore started in net for Florida and stopped 9-of-10 shots, but left
the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. Clemmensen entered in
relief and allowed one goal on 18 shots.
The goaltender was knocked out of the game early in the second period when
he was run into by Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov while he was trailing
his man and Kulikov tumbled over Theodore, twisting the goaltender's legs
Theodore did manage to skate off the ice under his own power, but was replaced
by Clemmensen for the remainder of the game.
Travis Moen also scored for Montreal, which dropped its seventh game in its
last eight tries.
Carey Price stopped 32-of-34 shots in defeat.
"The chances are there, we're making most of the plays," said Price. "I liked
the energy level we had tonight, but it was just one more tough night for us."
Montreal struck first with a Moen slap shot from the top of the left circle at
the 5:37 mark of the first period.
Theodore then made some big saves near the end of the first period, including
a breakaway in the closing seconds of the frame to keep it a one-goal game
A scrum broke out on the ice as the first period came to an end and when
everything had settled, Panthers forward Krys Barch was issued a game
misconduct. No reason was given at the time, but it was reported that an on-
ice official overheard Barch use a racial slur towards Canadiens defenseman
P.K. Subban, whose parents are Jamaican.
"He feels really bad that there was an insinuation that something
inappropriate was said and now it has moved on to a league matter," Panthers
head coach Kevin Dineen said about Barch. "Obviously, the Florida Panthers,
Krys Barch and all of us are really shook by this that there is an insinuation
that something was said that was inappropriate.
"I think this is always a very sensitive situation for anybody. We'll let the
facts play out and make sure things are handled accordingly and move on from
there. There is so much emotion in the game. The intensity is there, but when
things happen that go beyond the game they need to be addressed."
When play resumed in the second period, Fleischmann knotted the game at one
with a wrister from the top of the right circle that ripped into the top left
corner of the net.
The score remained tied at one until the 3:08 mark of the third period when
Matthias raced into the Montreal zone after a turnover in center ice and beat
Price with a wrister from the high slot, setting the stage for the frantic
Cole's goal was the 200th of his career...Stephen Weiss recorded an assist for
the Panthers. The helper was his 231st as a member of the Panthers, tying the
franchise record in assists previously held by Olli Jokinen...Florida
converted on 1-of-6 power play opportunities, while Montreal went 0-for-3 on
the man advantage.
01/01 01:52:46 ET