Panthers Hand Canadiens Another Loss, 2-1
MONTREAL (AP) – Jacob Markstrom got his first NHL victory and Scottie Upshall scored 5:02 into the third period to help the Florida Panthers extend Montreal’s losing streak to six with a 2-1 win over the Canadiens on Monday night.
Markstrom made 40 saves in his second career start. Tomas Fleischmann scored a power-play goal in the first for the Panthers, who won their second in a row to improve to 5-3.
Montreal fell to 1-5-2, continuing its worst start in 70 years. It is the deepest the Canadiens have gone into a season with only one win since 1941-42, when they got off to a 1-10-1 start that included a pair of losses to the Brooklyn Americans.
Erik Cole scored on a power play 3:08 in for his first Montreal goal. Backup Peter Budaj stopped 29 shots in his Canadiens debut.
Upshall deflected Dmitry Kulikov’s shot in midair, redirecting the puck past Budaj to give Florida its first lead. A video review upheld the goal.
Both teams had new players picked up in trades in their lineups.
Marco Sturm made his Florida debut after he was acquired along with Mikael Samuelsson from Vancouver on Saturday in a deal that sent David Booth and Stephen Reinprecht to the Canucks.
Petteri Nokelainen played his first game for the Canadiens, who acquired him in a trade with Phoenix on Sunday.
Cole got his first Montreal goal 3:08 in with a power-play tally that was originally credited to Max Pacioretty. The puck struck Cole in front of the net on its way past Markstrom after Pacioretty deflected Yannick Weber’s shot from the point.
Cole, who signed a four-year, $18-million free agent deal with the Canadiens on July 1, drew a cheer for his first goal in eight games when PA announcer Michel Lacroix announced the scoring change early in the second. The goal was only the Canadiens’ third in 30 opportunities with the man advantage this season.
Montreal failed to score on two other power plays, including the final 50 seconds after Jason Garrison was called for hooking, falling to 3 for 32 overall.
Fleischmann drew Florida even 1-1 with a power-play goal at 15:59. Kris Versteeg got an assist as Fleischman beat Budaj with a shot that squeaked through the Montreal backup’s pads.
Pacioretty left the game after he was injured late in the second. He did not return.