Skip to main content

Panthers’ 5-goal second period overwhelms Canadiens

Jan 19, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; NHL linesman Matt MacPherson (83) drops the puck at a face-off between Montreal Canadiens right wing Josh Anderson (17) and Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) during the first period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Goaltender Alex Lyon made his Panthers debut after an early injury to starter Sergei Bobrovsky, leading Florida to a 6-2 victory over the host Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

The Panthers scored four power-play goals, the first time they accomplished that feat since a game against Pittsburgh 10 years ago. Matthew Tkachuk, who leads Florida with 24 goals, scored twice with the man advantage.

Bobrovsky, the Vezina Trophy winner in 2013 and 2017, left the game due to a lower-body injury. Bobrovsky, who lasted just 2:01 into the game, appeared to jam his left foot against the post.

Spencer Knight, who was Florida’s starter for a stretch this season, is on injured reserve.

That meant that the Panthers were forced to turn to 30-year-old Lyon, who made 23 saves in just his 25th NHL game.

The Panthers also got power-play goals from Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett and even-strength tallies from Givani Smith and Ryan Lomberg. It was Smith’s first goal as a member of the Panthers.

Montreal goalie Sam Montembeault — who started his career with the Panthers — made 28 saves as the Canadiens’ had their two-game winning streak snapped. He was pulled after two periods and replaced by Cayden Primeau.

Rem Pitlick and Josh Anderson scored Montreal’s goals. Pitlick also had an assist.

Besides Bobrovsky, the Panthers suffered another setback as forward Eric Staal went out in the first period due to an upper-body injury. He did not return.

After a scoreless first period, the Panthers took a 5-0 lead after the second, virtually ending the game.

Florida opened the scoring on Reinhart’s goal with 5 seconds remaining on the power play. The goal was set up when Kirby Dach was called for hooking on Reinhart.

Then, as the power play nearly evaporated, Aleksander Barkov’s shot from the right circle was stopped by Montembeault, who allowed a juicy rebound. Reinhart cashed in from the left circle, but Montreal challenged the goal, arguing goalie interference.

It seemed like Montreal had a strong case as Tkachuk was in the crease, blocking Montembeault’s ability to move to his right. However, after a long video replay, the goal counted.

The failed challenge gave Florida another power play, and the Panthers made it 2-0 on Bennett’s tip-in goal with 4 seconds left on the man advantage. Gustav Forsling got the primary assist with his pass that led to Bennett’s deflection.

Tkachuk made it 3-0 with his rebound goal. Smith followed his own shot for a 4-0 lead, and Tkachuk made it 5-0 with 43 seconds left in the wild period.

–Field Level Media