Panthers at Canadiens
Michel Therrien’s second stint as Montreal coach got off to an inauspicious start Saturday when the Canadiens lost 2-1 to the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal will need to do more when it hosts the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, as fans at the usually raucous Bell Centre were quieted early against Toronto. Scattered chants of “we want P.K.” could be heard in reference to Canadiens restricted free agent defenseman P.K. Subban, who remains unsigned by new general manager Marc Bergevin. Without Subban, Montreal looked disorganized in its own zone and only managed 22 shots on Maple Leafs rookie netminder Ben Scrivens. The Panthers are coming off a 4-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night where they looked like an entirely different team from the one that defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 at home to open the season Saturday. Florida was outshot 18-4 in the first period against Ottawa and went 0-for-3 on the power play, a far cry from the 12 first-period shots and three power-play goals that chased Carolina goaltender Cam Ward from the net Saturday. Alex Kovalev, who had three points Saturday but none Monday, played 314 games for the Canadiens and had 84 points with them in the 2007-08 season.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, RDS, FS Florida
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (1-1-0): Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau was unable to replicate the success he found in his three-point NHL debut against the Hurricanes, failiing to register a shot in nearly 16 minutes of ice-time against the Senators on Monday. Huberdeau is from Saint-Jerome, Quebec, a small town 40 miles northwest of Montreal. Defenseman Brian Campbell, who had 53 points last season and scored twice Saturday, led Florida with 26:41 time on ice against Ottawa but was minus-1 with one shot. Jose Theodore has stopped 74 of 79 shots in his first two starts.
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (0-1-0): Captain Brian Gionta scored Montreal’s only goal Saturday. The goal came on the power play, where the Canadiens went 1-for-5. Carey Price stopped 24 shots and was perfect at even strength, but Montreal allowed two goals on five Toronto power plays. Defenseman Alexei Emelin led all Canadiens with six hits. Tomas Plekanec assisted on Gionta’s goal and was 13-for-20 in the faceoff circle. Alex Galchenyuk, selected third overall in 2012, finished with two shots on goal in 13 minutes of ice-time.
1. The Panthers won all four games against Montreal last season. Three of those games were decided by one goal and one went to a shootout.
2. Therrien has hinted toward replacing Lars Eller in the lineup with rookie Brendan Gallagher, who was a healthy scratch Saturday. Gallagher had 20 points in 36 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League this season.
3. Florida was 17-17-7 on the road last season. The Canadiens were 16-15-10 at home.