The Florida Panthers have stopped chasing records of the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
It’s a lucky goal from defender Aaron Ekblad at 2:59 of the overtime period which allowed Gerard Gallant men to sign a second victory, only in seven games on the road this season.
Ekblad scored even if he broke his stick on the sequence. The shot missed completely deflected off the skate of Nathan Beaulieu before beating Carey Price, who could do nothing.
Less than two minutes earlier, Price had saved the skin of Canadians by making a spectacular save face Aleksander Barkov.
Alex Petrovic, Kyle Rau and Denis Malgin have scored for the Panthers who were limited to 24 shots on Price, who had his least convincing match since the start of the season.
This gain Panthers, their fifth straight face men to Michel Therrien, prevented the Impact signed a 11th straight victory at home early in the season. Such a feat would have allowed the Canadian to add his name alongside the 1963-1964 edition of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Panthers also prevented Price from equaling a club record, that of the greatest number of consecutive wins by a Canadian goalkeeper, 11.
The feat has been achieved only once in the history of the Habs or by George Hainsworth between February 24 and March 24, 1927.
The Canadian, who got 37 shots on Roberto Luongo had yet started the game strongly.
The trio of Phillip Danault, Max Pacioretty and Andrew Shaw has emerged from the start, forcing Jaromir Jagr to take punishment from the 24th second of play.
Pacioretty took advantage of the numerical advantage to score his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Nathan Beaulieu and David Desharnais, for whom this was a first point in 11 games, dating October 20.
Desharnais ended another scarcity, this one of 12 games, scoring his third of the season early in the second period.
Paul Byron, with his 6th already allowed the Canadiens to tie the score at 5:46 of the third period.
The Canadiens will resume on Friday collar then he will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina to face the Hurricanes there. The next day he will complete a fourth sequence of two games in two nights this season by hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Five highlights of the match
Here are five highlights of Tuesday night’s game at the Bell Centre between the Canadiens and Florida Panthers.
End of a dearth
Five days after being left on the press gallery, David Desharnais had the chance to play on the second wave of the power play after a minor penalty to Jaromir Jagr after 24 seconds into the first period. He took the opportunity to end a drought of 11 games without a point, getting an assist on the fourth goal of Max Pacioretty 2:12. The Canadiens captain beat Roberto Luongo with a wrist shot that came out of the net as quickly as he entered it.
Despite the early goal of Pacioretty, it is the Panthers who dictated the tempo in the first period and took control of enemy territory. Gerard Gallant’s men dominated 12-6 in shots on goal and returned to a strong locker room ahead 2-1. Defender Alex Petrovic first advantage of a failed clearance Phillip Danault to beat Carey Price with a shot that Canadian goalkeeper did not appear to see, at 5:04. Some ten minutes later, Michael Matheson won his battle against Greg Pateryn behind the net Habs and served a good ball to Kyle Rau forgotten in the enclave. Rau beat Price with a low shot ice, between the pads.
It is not clear what is said in the locker room Canadiens during the first intermission, but no matter what the message, it paid off. Michel Therrien’s men completely dominated the first half of the second period, even getting the first ten shots before that Price will be called to stop a puck. One of the Canadian shootings, that of Desharnais, found the back of the net at 4:22, This goal allowed him to interrupt another famine, who had not scored since October 18 or in 12 games. Andrei Markov took the opportunity to score a point in a sixth straight game.
A capricious leap
The Canadiens dominated the Panthers in the second period, plus getting the triple shooting that visitors (19-6). Still, the Panthers have found a way to maintain their one-goal lead when they returned to the locker room with a priority of 3-2. The young striker Denis Malgin left from a wrist shot that seemed to give the leg defenseman Jeff Petry, before jumping on the ice to thwart Carey Price on his left. Moments earlier, Tomas Plekanec had missed an incredible chance to score by shooting directly on Luongo.
The sequence is complete
David Desharnais is not the only one to have ended its offensive drought against the Panthers. Brendan Gallagher has also halted its journey through the desert that was ongoing since November 2, becoming the accomplice Paul Byron sixth goal of the season at 5:46 of the third period. Alex Galchenyuk, who assisted on the sequence, has at the same time continued its momentum by collecting at least one point in a sixth consecutive game. Deadlocked, the game then went into overtime. Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad then ended the winning streak of the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in beating Carey Price with a slap shot, breaking his stick at 2:59