Florida Panthers Post-Game Recap: Game # 63 vs. the Montreal Canadiens:
After six days off, and a slew of trade deadline deals made, the Panthers were finally gearing up to continue their road trip in Eastern Canada. Florida’s newest acquisitions Ben Chiarot, Robert Hagg, and of course the key piece Claude Giroux were all making their Panthers debut in this game in Montreal. For Chiarot especially this game would be significant because in his first game with the Panthers he would be playing against his former teammates in Montreal. Spencer Knight would be making his fifth consecutive start in net for the Panthers, while Montreal turn to veteran Jake Allen to man the pipes.
The first period started out about as crazy as you can imagine. Jonathan Huberdeau would take a roughing penalty 20 seconds into the game to give Montreal a Power Play on their first shift. Montreal would capitalize early, as Nick Suzuki would score his team-leading 18th goal to put the Canadiens up 1–0, 29 seconds into the game. However, less than 10 seconds later Aleksander Barkov would score his team-leading 27th goal of the season to tie it up for Florida. The goal would be assisted by Hagg and Giroux, both their first points in a Panthers sweater. Less than a minute into the game and the score would already be 1–1. Florida would control most of the possession from that point, out-shooting Montreal 15–7 in total across the first period. Jake Allen would stand tall however, and the teams would go into the first intermission knotted at one.
The Panthers came out in the second period looking for more of that smothering style of hockey that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing. Mason Marchment would get a scoring chance just over a minute into the second period after a phenomenal forecheck, and he would capitalize on the opportunity. His 14th goal of the season would put Florida ahead 2–1. Montreal didn’t panic from this point, and looked to answer back quickly. About five minutes after Marchment put Florida ahead, Jake Evans of Montreal would even it up at two for his ninth goal of the season. The Panthers would stick to their game-plan of burying opponents with speed, and Anthony Duclair would be awarded a goal for his effort just over a minute after Evans tied it up. The score would be 3–2 in favor of the Panthers at this stage, and they would control possession to ensure that they would head into the second intermission with the lead. The Panthers were 31–0–1 when leading after the second period so far this season.
Florida would be awarded a Power Play opportunity a little less than halfway through the third period, that they would finally be able to take advantage of. Sam Reinhart would score his 24th of the season, this one on the Power Play to give Florida a 4–2 advantage in the third period. The Canadiens, to their credit, were not going to go silently into the night. They pulled Jake Allen to get the extra skater on with just under four minutes left in the game, and they would make the game an interesting one. Paul Byron would score his third of the year with about 3:30 remaining to bring the Canadiens within a goal of tying the game. Florida however would shut down the Habs the rest of the way through, and managed to hang on to leave Montreal victorious by the score of 4–3.
Giroux would put up two assists in his Panthers debut, with Hagg and Chiarot also getting their first points in a Panthers jersey. It was another solid effort by Spencer Knight in net, as he would turn away 28 of the 31 shots he faced. The Panthers look to continue their winning ways as they head into Canada’s capital Ottawa to face the Senators. That game will take place on Saturday the 26th, and will begin at 7 pm ET.
- 1–0 (MTL): Nick Suzuki (18)(PPG) at 0:29, assisted by Cole Caufield (18) and Chris Wideman (16)
- 1–1 (FLA): Aleksander Barkov (27) at 0:36, assisted by Robert Hagg (8) and Claude Giroux (25)
- 2–1 (FLA): Mason Marchment (14) at 1:12, unassisted
- 2–2 (MTL): Jake Evans (9) at 5:59, assisted by Alexander Romanov (9) and Mike Hoffman (13)
- 3–2 (FLA): Anthony Duclair (25) at 7:06, assisted by Ben Chiarot (12) and Jonathan Huberdeau (66)
- 4–2 (FLA): Sam Reinhart (24)(PPG) at 7:20, assisted by Jonathan Huberdeau (67) and Claude Giroux (26)
- 4–3 (MTL): Paul Byron (3) at 16:20, assisted by Christian Dvorak (10) and Joel Armia (8)