PITTSBURGH - The Canadiens confirmed Saturday that star defenceman Andrei Markov has returned to Montreal to receive treatment for an injury suffered Friday night in a Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Markov was hurt just past the 11-minute mark of the first period when he was checked cleanly into the boards by Penguins agitator Matt Cooke. Markov fell awkwardly into the boards, threw one of his gloves into the air and writhed in pain on the ice as some of his teammates went after Cooke at centre ice.
Markov stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the ice, putting no weight on his right leg as he left.
The Canadiens have not played very well without their No. 1 defenceman this season, posting a 14-20-3 record in the games he's missed. With Markov in the lineup the Canadiens are a very respectable 29-17-7, including the playoffs.
The Penguins also suffered a major injury in the game as centre Jordan Staal limped off the ice midway through the second period and did not return.