|MTL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
|FLA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The Montreal Canadiens have been one of the NHL's top road teams so far this season.
The Canadiens look for a second straight win away from home while trying to snap a four-game losing streak to the Florida Panthers when the teams meet Friday night at the BankAtlantic Center.
Montreal (18-13-6) won 5-2 at Tampa Bay on Thursday to avoid a third straight loss and improve to 2-1-1 on its season-high six-game road trip. The Canadiens close out the trip Sunday against the New York Rangers
Alexei Kovalev and Andrei Markov each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who are 12-6-2 on the road and just 6-7-4 at home.
"On the road, we seem to play more relaxed and kind of play the game with nothing to lose," said Kovalev, who has two goals in his last three games and one versus Florida this season.
Two of Markov's 10 goals came in Montreal's 3-2 home loss to Florida (18-16-3) on Dec. 18. The Canadiens also lost 2-1 in a shootout at home to the Panthers on Oct. 16, and haven't beaten Florida since a 1-0 shootout win Nov. 28, 2006.
Montreal has lost five of its last six on the road in the series.
The Canadiens broke out offensively Thursday after scoring three total goals while losing their previous two games. Montreal took 29 shots and jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
"We wanted to go hard at them," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We wanted to make sure that we put the pressure (on them)."
Cristobal Huet made 28 saves to earn the win. Huet, who has yet to start games on consecutive nights this season and has lost three in a row to Florida, could give way to Carey Price on Friday. Price is 9-7-2 with a 2.79 goals-against average, but has lost two in a row including the most recent meeting with the Panthers.
Florida bounced back from its first loss in four games with a 5-3 win at Atlanta on Thursday night. Nathan Horton scored two goals in a game for the first time since March for the Panthers, who are 6-1-2 since losing three in a row.
Horton has scored in two of his three games versus Montreal.
Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Thrashers, then held on as each team scored three goals in the final period. Atlanta scored a power-play and short-handed goal in the final 20 minutes, much to the dismay of Panthers coach Jacques Martin.
"We had the power play," Martin said. "There's no reason for our defense to pinch. They got the momentum, but we had to stop the bleeding. We have get smarter when we have the puck."
Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves for his fourth win in five starts. He could be back in net Friday looking to win his third straight versus Montreal, the team that selected him in the ninth round of the 1994 draft.
|Feb 13 '08||MTL 2 at FLA 1 - OT||A. Kovalev|
|Dec 28 '07||MTL 5 at FLA 1||M. Ryder|
|Dec 18 '07||FLA 3 at MTL 2||S. Weiss|
|Oct 16 '07||FLA 2 at MTL 1 - SO||J. Stumpel|