NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Florida |
(Tuesday, February 10th)
Final Score: Florida 2, Montreal 1
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Viktor Kozlov scored twice in a span of seven
seconds in the second period to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 win over
the Montreal Canadiens at the Office Depot Center.
Roberto Luongo stopped 40 shots for Florida, helping new coach John Torchetti
to a win in his first game ever behind an NHL bench. Former coach Rick Dudley
handed the coaching reigns over to Torchetti on Monday in order to fully
concentrate on his general manager duties.
Olli Jokinen assisted on both goals for the Panthers, winners of back-to-back
contests on the heels of a four-game winless streak (0-3-1).
"That's another step forward for our hockey club, going into the third with a
lead and keeping it," said Torchetti.
Andrei Markov notched the lone tally for the Canadiens, who had their three-
game win streak snapped. Jose Theodore made 20 saves in the loss for Montreal.
Kozlov, returning from a four-game absence with a broken thumb, set a record
for the fastest two goals in franchise history. His first came when he split
the defense and went to his backhand to squeeze one between the pads of
Theodore, just before the ref blew the play dead.
Florida sent the puck into the Montreal zone on the ensuing faceoff, but the
puck took a strange carom off the back boards as Theodore went behind the net
to play it. The disc bounced to Kozlov who put it home uncontested for his
second of the night.
Kozlov's bid for a hat trick in the closing seconds went awry as he missed an
empty net from the Canadiens' blue line.
Markov's fourth of the year opened the scoring just past the five-minute mark
of the opening stanza. After Florida's Byron Ritchie failed to clear the puck
along the right boards, Markov seized control at the point and sent a wrist
shot through traffic behind Luongo.
Luongo stopped a combined 26 shots in the last 40 minutes after allowing one
goal on 15 shots in the first period.
"I didn't think the first 20 minutes were that great," added Torchetti. "I
thought that a lot of guys were really pressing to try to do everything. I
just told them to loosen up."
Montreal's best defenseman, All-Star Sheldon Souray, suffered an apparent leg
injury late in the game when he landed awkwardly on the ice after a collision
along the right boards.
The previous club record for fastest two goals was held by Sandis Ozolinsh and
Ivan Novoseltsev, who scored eight seconds apart against Buffalo on March 15,
2002...Kozlov's first goal was his 100th as a Panther...Florida improved to
7-2-4-1 in its last 14 games on home ice.
02/11 00:35:02 ET