Aleksander Barkov, Evan Rodrigues and Carter Verhaeghe each had a goal and an assist in the Florida Panthers’ 5-1 road win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 of 22 shots to earn his 11th win. The veteran goalie has an impressive .912 save percentage over 18 games.
Sam Bennett and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored Florida’s other goals, with Ekman-Larsson’s marker coming with only 11 seconds left in the third period.
Johnathan Kovacevic scored the Canadiens’ only goal, spoiling Bobrovsky’s shutout bid at 9:30 of the third period. Montreal netminder Cayden Primeau stopped 24 of 29 shots.
The Panthers finished their road trip with points in all three games (2-0-1). The Canadiens are 3-2-0 in their last five games overall, but 0-4-0 in their last four home games.
An ill-advised pass from Gustav Lindstrom led to the game’s opening goal at 7:07 of the second period. Barkov intercepted Lindstrom’s pass in Florida’s zone and broke down the ice on a 2-on-1 chance, taking the shot himself for the go-ahead tally.
Bennett extended the Panthers’ lead just eight seconds into the third period. The Canadiens won the opening faceoff but some sloppiness with the puck allowed Bennett to break towards net and score his third marker of the season.
Just seconds later, Montreal forward Alex Newhook left the game after suffering an apparent left foot injury. Newhook jammed his left leg into the bottom of the Panthers’ net and had to be helped off the ice.
The combination of Bennett’s goal and Newhook’s injury seemed to rattle the Canadiens, as the Panthers quickly added two more goals. Rodrigues converted a shot from the edge of the circle at 3:12 of the third period, and Verhaeghe scored on the power play at the 5:49 mark.
The Canadiens were 0-for-6 on the power play, extending a pair of lengthy special-teams streaks. The Habs are 0-for-23 on power plays over their last eight games, while Florida is a perfect 26-for-26 in killing penalties in its last six games.
The Panthers are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games with the Canadiens, dating back to the 2019-20 season.
–Field Level Media