The skinny: Captain Brian Gionta snapped a 1-1 tie late in the second period and the Canadiens went on to defeat the Florida Panthers 2-1 Monday night at the Bell Centre. Tomas Plekanec, who was named captain of the Czech Olympic team earlier in the day, took advantage of a weak pass by Ed Jovanovski behind the Florida net and he set up Gionta for his second goal in two games. Better to be lucky than good: David Desharnais had to improvise as he opened the scoring at 6:33 of the first period. Desharnais fanned on a forehand shot but he surprised Tim Thomas when he spun around and scored on a backhander. Desharnais has two goals and four assists in the past four games. Getting involved: Max Pacioretty picked up an assist on Desharnais’s goal and has two goals and three assists in the same span. He had a game-high nine shots and hit a crossbar in the first period. He also led the Canadiens with four hits. Finn-ishing touch: The Panthers were outshot 13-5 in the first period but went into the intermission tied 1-1 as Sean Bergenheim scored on a rebound of a shot by fellow Finn Aleksander Barkov at 17:09. Bergenheim almost gave the Panthers the lead less than two minutes later but his shot hit the crossbar. Same old Timmy: We’re not sure what Thomas did during his year-long sabbatical but he certainly didn’t work on his technique. Thomas displayed the same flip, flop and fly approach he used in Boston and made life difficult for the Canadiens as he made 33 saves. Carey Price made 26 saves, including 16 in the third period, to post his 20th victory of the season.
Gionta scores winner against Panthers
Montreal Gazette | Jan 7