The Habs’ winning streak came to an end on Saturday night as they fell to the
15th ranked team in the East, the Florida Panthers, by a count of 3-1.
Montreal came out listless in the 1st and paid for it as Michael Frolik,
originally expected to be a healthy scratch if not for the injury to Stephen
Weiss, tallied his 1st of the season. Mathieu Darche continued his strong
play as of late tying the game in the 2nd but the Habs couldn’t get another one
by Tomas Vokoun.
David Booth gave the Panthers the lead back in the second half of the period,
giving Florida the lead heading into the 3rd. Montreal was unsuccessful on
a lengthy two-man advantage to begin the period nor could they score on a late
PP. Right after that advantage, Shawn Matthias sealed the victory and the
Habs basically coasted from there. Vokoun made 40 saves for the win while
Carey Price was the hard luck loser, stopping 28 of 31 shots.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Carey Price (28 saves on 31 shots, .903 SV%, 3.00 GAA)
When a team is struggling offensively, your goalie needs to find ways to keep
his team in the game and that’s basically what Price did for the majority of the
night. Of his 28 saves, there were numerous key stops at important times.
He also handled the puck much more than usual, albeit with varying degrees of
2nd Star: Mathieu Darche (1 goal, +1 rating, 2 shots, 1 hit, 1
block, 7:37 TOI)
Scored on a strong drive to the net, something we frankly need to be seeing
from other players not named Darche. He didn’t play a whole lot as
evidenced by a team low in ice time but when he did play, good things usually
3rd Star: Scott Gomez (6 shots, 9/14 faceoffs (64.3%), 19:08
This one may be a surprise for some but I thought this was one of his best
games of the season. When he got the puck in full flight, there was almost
always a scoring chance afterwards. It was also nice to see him making a
point to shoot the puck more – his 6 shots were a team high and a personal
season high for him.
Honourable Mention: Andrei Markov (5 shots (11 attempts), 1
block, 23:03 TOI)
There were some understandable struggles and timid moments but as the game
progressed, he looked much more comfortable out there and made some good things
happen. A decent first game in nearly 6 months which is a great sign
Stat of the Night: Maxim Lapierre didn’t do anything on the
scoresheet but he made his presence felt, picking up 7 hits, a game high.
The Habs won that department 26-20.