Florida Panthers record 2-1 victory over struggling Montreal Canadiens.
A goal each from Scottie Upshall and Tomas Fleischmann and Jacob Markstrom’s 40 saves helped the Florida Panthers record a convincing victory over the struggling Montreal Canadiens.
Scottie Upshall’s tailed but the decisive goal came at the right time to help the Panthers edge pass the Canadiens. Overall, it was a poor show by the Canadiens as they got too many chances but failed to materialise them.
The Canadiens performance also came under radar because it was their sixth consecutive loss in a row. This is the time first that they have lost so many games one after one successively since 2007.
Peter Budaj tried his best for the Canadiens, making 29 stops out of the total 31 shots. However consistent pressure and attacks by the Panthers edge passed him three shots, two of which were converted into goals.
"We had a big game from [Budaj] but nobody likes losing. I'm tired of it," Canadiens coach Cole said. "We have just got to find a way to get over the hump and we just have to be tougher in front of their net to get those type of goals."
This was despite a tripping penalty on Tomas Kopecky had given an advantage to Montreal to take a lead early on. Having set up in the Florida Panthers half, Raphael Diaz gained a pass at the high slot and shot it from the blue line. The puck went around
the crowd which was deflected by Max Pacioretty before smashing into the net.
It was the power-play goal of its own that got the Florida back into the game. The equaliser came from Tomas Fleischmann. Kris Versteeg gathered a dumped puck in the straight corner and passed out in front of the net, where Flieschmann sent a shot from between
two Canadiens defenders into the net.
Florida Panthers then had many more chances to take lead but they failed to materialise them. The score was even in the second round. However, they succeeded later on to take one goal lead at the 5:02 mark of the third when Kopecky gave a pass on the right
side boards to Dmitry Kulikov. Kulikov was at the left point and corralled the puck and shot a wrister towards the net. It was Upshall from there to make sure that the Panthers take the lead. He deflected the chest-high shot past the glove of Budaj into the
goal. It was second goal for the Florida Panthers to bag and extend their lead over Canadiens to 2-1, which they managed to maintain until the end of the match.
The Montreal Canadiens failed them on two occasions, as they were not able to convert two power plays into goals. This resulted in not only loss of the match, but failure in the six games successively. This was one of the worst starts that Montreal had made
in 70 years history of their game.