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Canadiens vs. Panthers Top Six Minutes: Super start to Super Bowl Weekend

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A complete effort leads Montreal to a big divisional win.

NHL: FEB 01 Panthers at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pre-Game Thoughts

  • The first game of the post-Jesperi Kotkaniemi era. Just kidding.
  • The Canadiens won their last game. They win another, that’s two in a row. A third? That’s called a winning streak. We’ve seen it happen before.
  • I think it’s cool that the Canadiens are serving as the opening act for the Laval Rocket tonight.

First Period

  • A good start. Can’t wait to see Nick Suzuki and Ilya Kovalchuk do their thing in Laval. (Too soon?)
  • Nick Suzuki scores, but such smart plays by Joel Armia and Jeff Petry to set it up. (I guess it was too soon)
  • NFL on Fox theme song between whistles. Easily a top-five sports theme song. The rest: Hockey Night in Canada, NHL on ESPN, NBA on NBC. The fifth is too close to call while watching a hockey game. I’m partial to the Expos on RDS and the Monday Night Football instrumental.
  • The Canadiens are starting like a desperate team. The Panthers are starting like a team playing an afternoon game on the road. Florida is also coming off their bye week.
  • Tomas Tatar came as close as you could come to scoring. Seriously, not sure how you can get closer.
  • Dueling breaks on a Florida power play. Both goaltenders make the save.
  • Don’t let the fact that Artturi Lehkonen doesn’t score more distract you from the fact he does so many things right, and gets those chances to begin with.

Second Period

  • You have to wonder if Montreal will regret not scoring more in the opening 20 minutes...
  • If I was going to write every time Lehkonen did something good, we’d need to name this the top sixty minutes.
  • I know it probably won’t last long, but if it’s damn cool to see Ilya Kovalchuk playing like this in a Canadiens jersey.
  • There. Lehkonen scored. 2-0. Don’t look now, but that’s 12.
  • Tatar didn’t miss that one. Oh, three assists for Jeff Petry too. 3-0.

Third Period

  • This is the first time the Canadiens have a three goal lead at home after 40 minutes since October 17. Nick Suzuki also scored that game. I also did the TSM. Coincidence? Most definitely.
  • Price with an original delay of game penalty. I’m just happy he’s still awake.
  • You knew Price wasn’t going to allow a goal on his penalty.
  • Four assist night for Petry now. Nick Suzuki adds another assist as well.
  • That’s Brendan Gallagher’s first power play goal of the season.
  • Suzuki’s Lady Byng hopes take a hit with a holding call.
  • I wouldn’t want to be skated into by Joel Armia.
  • Now I think the Canadiens are just using this blowout to boost their PK percentage.
  • He has a goal, so we can’t fault Lehkonen too much for those two missed short-handed chances.
  • And Price finishes it off with a shutout after being really tested in the third.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) And now the narrative of the Habs never winning when he scores can go away

2) A great job from #26

1) He’s improving in literal leaps and bound