HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2001 NHL prospects tournament continued on Thursday at the Robert-Guertin Arena just outside of Ottawa with the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Florida Panthers 2-1. Florida attempted to rally from a 2-0 deficit and dominated play in the second half of the game. LW Josh Olson tallied the lone Panthers’ goal with 0:19 seconds remaining in the second period. He was assisted on the play by D Lucas Krajicek and D Paul Elliott. Florida registered 26 shots on net in the final 30 minutes of the game. Montreal goaltender Olivier Michaud was named the Player of the Game for the Canadiens as he stopped all but one of those shots.
Florida’s Player of Game G Billy Thompson made 27 saves. Florida killed off all seven Montreal power plays. The Panthers only had two power play chances. Florida outshot Montreal 35-29. With the loss, the Panthers record drops to 0-2-0 in the tourney. The round robin tournament will continue on Friday with the Panthers taking on Phoenix at 4:30 PM. Ottawa faces off against Montreal in the late game at 7:30 PM.
FIRST PERIOD: Montreal RW Marc-Andre Thinel scored the lone goal of the first period at the 15:29 mark. Florida’s Thompson was solid stopping 10 shots. The Panthers were outshot by the Canadiens, 11-7.
SECOND PERIOD: After falling behind 2-0, the Panthers battled back with a goal in the final minute of the period. Sustained pressure in the Montreal zone resulted in a goal with just 0:19 on the clock as Olson connected on a scramble in front. He was assisted on the play by Krajicek and Elliott. LW Marcel Hossa tallied the lone goal of the period for the Canadiens at 16:31. Florida outshot Montreal 11-8 in the middle frame despite the Canadiens advantage in power play chances (3-0).
THIRD PERIOD: Florida peppered Montreal G Olivier Michaud with 17 shots in the period, but failed to net the equalizer. The Panthers had numerous outstanding chances throughout the entire period and outshot the Canadiens 17-10. G Thompson was solid throughout the game helping the Panthers kill off six consecutive Montreal power plays, including five over the last two periods.
Game Notes: Niklas Hagman led Panthers with 5 shots, Kyle Bruce led Panthers with 4 hits.
Press release provided by the hard-working and very industrious Panthers Communication staff