Markov scores twice as Habs beat Panthers
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Andrei Markov scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens downed the Florida Panthers, 4-1, on Tuesday.
Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who bounced back from a season-opening loss to Toronto. Carey Price made 27 saves in the victory.
"We all played better and put the puck on the net more," said Markov. "It was a team effort and we have to continue to play the same way and have to be better."
Tomas Kopecky supplied the sole offense for Florida. Scott Clemmensen allowed all four goals on 33 shots to suffer his first career defeat against Montreal. He entered the game with a 6-0-0 record and a 1.68 goals-against average in seven career games against the Canadiens.
Montreal took the lead just 3:26 in as Brian Gionta broke down the right side of the ice on a rush before feeding a pass into the slot for Plekanec, who finished with a wrister through the legs of Clemmensen.
The Canadiens then added to their advantage after receiving a two-man advantage lasting 1:40 following a holding penalty by Brian Campbell and a delay-of-game penalty by Stephen Weiss. Markov ripped a slap shot from the high slot past the goaltender's stick side with 6:36 left in the opening period.
Florida received a late power play for a chance to cut into its deficit, but Filip Kuba struck the crossbar with a shot from the left point to keep it a 2-0 game heading into the second period.
The Panthers were able to get on the board with their second power play of the middle stanza as Kopecky ripped a one-timer from the right circle inside the near post at the 4:33 mark.
Montreal, however, answered with a power-play goal of its own to regain their two-goal advantage with Markov's second tally, a one-timer from the blue line that sailed through a crowd and past Clemmensen's glove just under four minutes later.
Florida was given a golden chance to get back in the game as Montreal's Travis Moen and Brandon Prust were whistled for consecutive penalties that included six seconds of a 5-on-3, but the visitors could not convert and Galchenyuk made it a 4-1 game with 5:35 remaining in the second period with a redirection of a Prust shot from the right circle.
The Panthers were again given a lengthy power play in the third period when Ryan White was given a fighting major and a game misconduct for throwing several punches at Florida's Tomas Fleischmann after taking a hit in the corner.
But Florida did not take advantage of the opportunity despite another Montreal penalty resulting in another two-man advantage lasting nearly a full two minutes as Price stopped all eight shots he faced in the frame.
"It was a special-teams game tonight, but we weren't good," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "If you give up that many chances against a team with speed, you're going to have them capitalize."
Florida went 1-for-8 on the power play ... The Canadiens were 2-for-6 with the man advantage ... Max Pacioretty and Raphael Diaz each had a pair of assists for Montreal ... Galchenyuk netted his first career goal.
01/22 23:18:29 ET