Tkachuk scores 2 in 5-goal second, Panthers beat Habs 6-2

Goaltender Sam Montembeault of the Montreal Canadiens makes a skate save near Sam Reinhart and Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers during the second period at Centre Bell on January 19, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) (Minas Panagiotakis, 2023 Minas Panagiotakis)

MONTREAL – Matthew Tkachuk scored twice in the middle of a five-goal second period and the Florida Panthers cruised to a 6-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists. Sam Bennett, Givani Smith and Ryan Lomberg also scored for the Panthers.

Sergei Bobrovsky exited with a lower-body injury just 2:01 into the game. Alex Lyon made 23 saves in relief for Florida.

Rem Pitlick and Josh Anderson scored for Montreal.

Sam Montembeault allowed five goals on 33 shots. Cayden Primeau took over in net in the third period, making six saves.

Anderson got Montreal’s first scoring chance, hitting the post on a shot that broke his stick just over a minute into the game. Bobrovsky appeared to get hurt on the play and left during a stoppage for a Florida penalty.

The Canadiens’ power-play unit instantly tested Lyon when Cole Caufield ripped a one-timer, but the netminder denied him.

Mike Matheson stopped Eric Staal in his tracks with a reverse hit late in the first period. Staal was slow to get up but headed to the locker room and did not return.

The Panthers broke the ice at 6:30 of the second. Reinhart hopped on a rebound from the left faceoff circle and scored into a half-open net.

Montreal coach Martin St. Louis challenged the play for goaltender interference, but the goal stood after a video review.

Florida took advantage of a Montreal delay-of-game penalty to score a second goal less than two minutes later. Bennett redirected Gustav Forsling’s point shot to score his 11th of the season.

Tkachuk gave the Panthers a three-goal lead on the power play by patrolling the front of the net and tapping in a rebound past Montembeault at 14:58.

Smith scored his first of the season by grabbing his own rebound just more than a minute later.

The Canadiens took two penalties for too many men on the ice late in the period. Montreal killed the first minor, but Tkachuk whipped in a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle to complete Florida’s five-goal outburst with 43 seconds remaining in the period.

Pitlick put Montreal on the board 2:12 into the third when he beat Lyon from a tight angle.

Anderson cut Montreal’s deficit to three with a one-timer from the left circle at 8:06.

Lomberg redirected a centering pass from Carter Verhaeghe at 9:11 to make it 6-2.


The Canadiens lost a sixth consecutive game with their Reverse Retro uniforms. Montreal is 0-6-0 while wearing light blue.


Panthers: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Canadiens: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.


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