for this game

Lapierre records hat trick as Canadiens thwart Panthers

Dec 30, 2008 - 4:14 AM
By Rick Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens continued their dominance of the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

Maxim Lapierre recorded his first career hat trick as the Canadiens defeated the Panthers, 5-2, on Monday.

Montreal has won three straight in South Florida, and last lost to the Panthers on the road on December 29, 2006. With the victory, the Canadiens have now won four of their last five games.

"We're building on the positives now," said Montreal's Steve Begin, who had an assist on Lapierre's first goal. "We're working hard every night and playing more as a team."

Lapierre, who has seven goals on the season, ended Florida goaltender Craig Anderson's night when his second tally of the contest at 2:40 of the third period gave Montreal a 4-2 advantage.

He secured his hat trick with an empty-netter in the waning seconds of the session.

"(The hat trick) was great. It's something you dream about," Lapierre said. "I was getting some chances to score and when you have nights like that things can go your way."

Tomas Vokoun finished the game for Florida, which has now dropped three of its last four decisions.

"They (the Canadiens) were the better, faster and more skilled team tonight," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "We looked slow and were chasing them most of the night. Their speed really exposed us in a lot of different situations."

Lapierre's persistence behind Florida's net paid off when, after failing to poke the puck past Anderson from the left side, he converted on a wraparound from the right side to put the Canadiens in front for good at 3-2 on his first tally of the game with 3:59 left in the second.

"He's playing with a lot of confidence," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "He doesn't panic and is always trying to make plays."

Lapierre said Anderson seemed to be caught off guard on the wraparound goal.

"(Anderson) had his back to me and didn't see the play," Lapierre said of the go-ahead goal. "Usually the goalie will slide over to that side, but I don't think he knew where it was after he made the first stop."

Florida, trying to rebound from two straight losses to Tampa Bay over the weekend, jumped ahead at the 5:18 mark of the first when rookie Michael Frolik sent a one-timer through the pads of Montreal goaltender Carey Price.

It was the sixth goal this season for Frolik, who has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 13 games.

"It's nice to contribute, but in the end, we didn't get the result we wanted," Frolik said.

The Canadiens got a little help from the Panthers during a 5-on-3 opportunity to draw even midway through the period. Alex Kovalev's pass into the crease deflected off the skate of defenseman Karlis Skrastins and past Anderson to forge a 1-1 tie. Kovalev was credited with his ninth goal.

"It's just a work ethic," Carbonneau said. "We went right after them and didn't let (the early goal) bother us. We kept skating and getting opportunities."

Montreal's Tomas Plekanec struck for a shorthanded goal just 90 seconds into the second when he grabbed a loose puck in the Florida zone and beat Anderson to the glove side.

"We made some stupid mistakes and it cost us some bad goals," Florida defenseman Nick Boynton said. "You have to play for 60 minutes and execute if you want to win in this league."

The Panthers pulled even thanks to a misplay by the Canadiens in their own zone. Taking advantage of an errant clearing attempt, David Booth took control and drilled the puck over price's stick to make it 2-2.

"It isn't rocket science," Boynton said. "You have to put your heart into it every night and we're just not doing that as a team."






  • 5
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 5, Panthers 2  FinalDec 30 1:23 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 2 2 5
    FLORIDA 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - MICHAEL FROLIK 6 (BRETT MCLEAN) 5:18
    MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 9 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ANDREI
    MARKOV) 10:27
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOMAS PLEKANEC 7 (ROMAN HAMRLIK) 1:30
    FLA - DAVID BOOTH 15 (UNASSISTED) 6:49
    MON - MA

    Dec 29 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (EN) MAXIM LAPIERRE 7 (UNASSISTED) 19:53

    Canadiens 5, Panthers 2  3rd - 0:07Dec 29 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 6 (GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE) 2:40

    Canadiens 4, Panthers 2  3rd - 17:20Dec 29 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 2 3
    FLORIDA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - MICHAEL FROLIK 6 (BRETT MCLEAN) 5:18
    MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 9 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ANDREI
    MARKOV) 10:27
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOMAS PLEKANEC 7 (ROMAN HAMRLIK) 1:30
    FLA - DAVID BOOTH 15 (UNASSISTED)

    Dec 29 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 5 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, STEVE BEGIN) 16:01

    Canadiens 3, Panthers 2  2nd - 3:59Dec 29 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - DAVID BOOTH 15 (UNASSISTED) 6:49

    Canadiens 2, Panthers 2  2nd - 13:11Dec 29 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOMAS PLEKANEC 7 (ROMAN HAMRLIK) 1:30

    Canadiens 2, Panthers 1  2nd - 18:30Dec 29 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - MICHAEL FROLIK 6 (BRETT MCLEAN) 5:18
    MON - (PP) ALEX TANGUAY 11 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI
    KOSTITSYN) 10:27
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 11 11
    FL

    Dec 29 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) ALEX TANGUAY 11 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI KOSTITSYN)
    10:27 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Canadiens 1, Panthers 1  1st - 9:33Dec 29 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - MICHAEL FROLIK 6 (BRETT MCLEAN) 5:18

    Canadiens 0, Panthers 1  1st - 14:42Dec 29 7:47 PM