Three quick volleys from the guests were enough to finish off the Canadian as he returned home after a long journey.
The Florida Panthers scored three goals in the first six minutes of the third period, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots and the visitors defeated the Montreal club 5-1 on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
The Habs were back home after a five-game road trip. He suffered his ninth straight loss after returning from a trip of at least four games (0-7-2).
The Panthers continued to wear the Canadian’s number. The Florida club has won its last five games against Bleu-Blanc-Rouge by a combined score of 32-12.
“We didn’t assess our chances opportunistically. That made the difference, emphasized coach Martin St-Louis. We could have come back with the lead after the second.
“We played a second game on two evenings. We arrived late yesterday. Tonight we were there from the start, we were committed and alert. It’s a shame to lose, but I’m proud of the team. »
The Canadian’s efforts were negated by his power play, which failed six times. The Habs’ massive offense is 0-23 in their last eight games.
Cayden Primeau stopped 24 shots in front of the Canadian net (10-11-2). Johnathan Kovacevic robbed Bobrovsky of a shutout by striking him out in the third period.
Primeau gave up five times on the glove side.
“This is unacceptable,” Primeau admitted. But every opportunity in front of the net is a learning opportunity. That’s what I need to do as I move forward. »
Aleksander Barkov, Evan Rodrigues and Carter Verhaeghe each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (14-7-2), who also benefited from goals from Sam Bennett and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The Canadian lost the services of striker Alex Newhook at the start of the third period. He appeared to have injured his left leg when he hit the Panthers’ net after falling. He needed help getting off the ice and returning to the locker room.
Newhook briefly went to the locker room in the first period after another bad fall against the boards.
“He’s one of our good players and no matter how long he’s gone, we’re going to be missing a good player,” Nick Suzuki said. It seems like this happens a lot on our team, but it opens the door for another player. »
A Canadiens spokesman said after the game only that Newhook had a lower-body injury and that his condition would be further evaluated on Friday.
The Canadian will have Friday off. He will take charge again on Saturday when he welcomes the Detroit Red Wings to the Bell Center.
Sean Monahan challenged Bobrovsky twice in quick succession during a Habs power play, but the goaltender closed the door.
At the other end of the ice, Primeau had to be alert to stop the puck after it bounced off Mike Matheson’s stick during a two-on-one attack by the undermanned Panthers.
The Canadian had two great chances to score at the start of the second period. Jesse Ylönen initially missed the target as he raced towards Bobrovsky alone, then Jake Evans was frustrated by the Russian veteran in a two-on-one attack.
The Panthers took the lead with 7:07 left in the second period with the teams playing four-on-four. Barkov intercepted a pass from Gustav Lindström at the Panthers’ blue line and orchestrated a two-on-one attack. Barkov decided to take a shot and hit Primeau on the glove side.
The Canadian spent a lot of time in the offensive zone the rest of the second period, but the Panthers avoided allowing dangerous shots to Bobrovsky.
The Panthers stunned the Canadians with two goals early in the third period.
Bennett took advantage of a slightly over-aggressive play by Justin Barron in the neutral zone to pass the puck to Primeau. He hit him on the glove side after just eight seconds of play.
Rodrigues then surprised Primeau 3:12 into the quarter. The American goalkeeper was hit on the glove side again and didn’t look particularly good in the sequence.
Verhaeghe returned during a power play at 5:49. He in turn surprised Primeau on the glove side, but the puck may have bounced off the blade of Barron’s stick in the sequence.
Kovacevic defeated Bobrovsky with 10:30 to go.
Still looking for his first goal of the season, Canadian forward Josh Anderson vented his frustration by engaging in a heated fight with Jonah Gadjovich at the end of the game.
Ekman-Larsson turned the iron in the wound by also beating Primeau on the glove side with 10.9 seconds left.
To watch in the video
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