FLA - B. Boyes (19) MTL - T. Vanek (27), M. Pacioretty (34), M. Pacioretty (35), EN - D. Desharnais (15)
SUNRISE — (NHL.com) - The Montreal Canadiens' top line and their gold medal-winning goaltender were too much for the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Max Pacioretty scored twice, and Thomas Vanek and David Desharnais each had a goal and an assist to lead the surging Canadiens to a 4-1 victory at BB&T Center. It was Montreal's fifth consecutive victory and eighth in nine games..
"We generated a lot of shots, lot of chances but they sat back in the third and let us come at them. We tried to generate things but the lack of scoring really hurt us."
- Panthers forward Brad Boyes.
1. Vanek At The Disco:With the score tied at zero midway through the first period, the Habs’ deadline pickup from Long Island, Thomas Vanek, got the rouge, blanc et bleu (Google Translate it) on the board by firing home a loose puck after Panthers goaltender Dan Ellis made the initial stop. Coming down on a one-on-one, Vanek hammered a shot from the slot that managed to trickle through Ellis’ legs and settle perfectly in the crease for Vanek to tap home.
2. Mighty Max: The Canadiens executed a pair of pretty tic-tac-toe passing plays that resulted in goals. In both instances it was Max Pacioretty on the finishing end of the sequence. The two goals were the American forward’s 34th and 35th of the season. With the goals, Pacioretty became the first Canadien to reach the 35-goal plateau since Eric Cole accomplished the feat during the 2011-12 season.
3. All But Where It Counts:While the 4-1 score would indicate otherwise, the Panthers actually generated the majority of the game’s scoring chances. The Cats outshot the Canadiens 37-19 but could not solve Carey Price more than once as Brad Boyes netted his 19th of the season.
The Panthers hit the road for their final road trip of the season, facing the Devils and Islanders on back-to-back nights. The Cats will first look to take the season series against the Devils Monday night after earning three out of a possible four points in the first two games (1-0-1). New Jersey (31-29-14) fell 2-1 in the shootout to the Islanders. Ageless one Jaromir Jagr leads the team with 60 points (23-37-60) and Patrik Elias has 51 points (17-34-51) in 59 games.