Ryder's power-play goals lift Canadiens to win
MONTREAL 5, FLORIDA 2
By PAUL GEREFFI
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Nearing the end of a five-game road trip
with back-to-back games, the Montreal Canadiens might have been
ripe for a loss. Instead, they capped off their trip with a
Michael Ryder scored two power-play goals, and the Canadiens
beat the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Sunday night.
David Desharnais, Brian Gionta and Francis Bouillon also scored,
and P.K. Subban had three assists. Ryder has seven assists and
two goals in seven games since being acquired from Dallas on
Peter Budaj stopped 14 shots for the Canadiens, who won for the
fourth time on their five-game trip and earned their ninth road
victory of the season. The Canadiens swept the season series
from the Panthers. They beat Tampa Bay 4-3 on Saturday night,
scoring three goals in the final period.
"It was a sensational trip. Already, as I told the players
before tonight's game, it was a good trip and we had the chance
to make it exceptional," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said.
"What was impressive is the fact we played yesterday and they
were fresh, but it was still us who dictated the game."
Tomas Kopecky and Shawn Matthias scored for Florida, and Jacob
Markstrom made 33 saves. The Panthers have lost six of seven and
13 of 16.
"We have to do a better job on preparing for all aspects of our
game," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "Our starts haven't
been good enough. We're playing one of the top teams in the
league and they looked like it."
Ryder's second goal was scored late in the third period on a
tip-in of a shot by Subban that made it 5-2.
"They brought me in to help offensively and on the power play.
That's what I want to try to do and try to help the team," Ryder
said. "I'm feeling a lot more comfortable on the ice now."
The Canadiens scored a pair of goals late in the second period
to stretch their lead to 4-0. Subban took a shot from above the
right circle that Markstrom blocked, but Gionta grabbed the
rebound and poked the puck in. A little over two minutes later,
Bouillon's shot from the slot beat Markstrom.
Kopecky's goal had made it 4-1 and was the result of a mistake
by Bouillon. Kopecky took a shot from the blue line, and the
puck ended up near Bouillon's stick in front.
Bouillon tried to clear the puck, but instead he swept it over
Budaj and into the net.
"Obviously, we can laugh about it now. We won the game," Budaj
said. "Those things happen."
Matthias' wrist shot from the left circle beat Budaj to make it
4-2. Matthias has scored four goals in six games, but the
disappointment of losing overwhelms anything positive from that.
"I'm sick of losing, sick of being down, it's wearing on you, we
need to change things," Matthias said. "5-2 is not acceptable,
especially when a team is at the end of their road trip."
A large contingent of Montreal fans cheered loudly throughout
"We didn't really give our fans too much to cheer about tonight,
and they did for theirs, so what can you say?" Matthias said.
Early-game troubles continued for Markstrom, who has given up
quick goals in his last two starts. Desharnais' wrist shot from
the left circle got past Markstrom's outstretched glove 1:46 in
to make it 1-0.
The Canadiens went ahead 2-0 on Ryder's first power-play goal.
Subban took a shot from the point, and Ryder redirected it into
NOTES: Canadiens forward Brandon Prust will be sidelined for 10
days because of a separated left shoulder sustained Saturday in
a 4-3 win at Tampa Bay. ... Ryder's goal was his 100th with the
Canadiens. ... Panthers D Ed Jovanovski, who has played in only
five games this season due to a lower body injury, practiced on
Saturday but there is no timetable for his return.
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