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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Habs Declaw Panthers, Kovy Returns, More...

Happy Hump Day HabsAddicts!!!

Our beloved Habs, fresh off a lacklustre performance on Saturday against the Leafs, brought their A game last night, beating the Florida Panthers 4-1. The Canadiens were led by Andrei Markov, who scored two power play goals, his first tallies in over two years.

Rookie centre Alex Galchenyuk, who centered the Habs' third line alongside Brandon Prust and Brendan Gallagher, scored his first career NHL goal. Gallagher tallied his first career point on the play.

Many were questioning the removal of Lars Eller from the lineup, but Galchenyuk's performance, which earned him the first star of the game, brought the capacity crowd to its feet and quickly silenced the naysayers. It was obvious through his performance that the Canadiens' 2012 third-round pick was right at home playing the centre position.

The team's character was also in evidence when Ryan White threw a couple of punches at the Panthers' Thomas Fleischman after he hit Josh Gorges from behind. While the altercation earned White an instigator penalty and ejection, no one criticized that fourth liners for coming to the defence of one of his teammates.

Kevin Dineen, the head coach of the Panthers, started Scott Clemmenson in goal versus the Canadiens. Coming into the game, Clemmenson boast a flawless 6-0 career record versus "Les Glorieux."

The Canadiens are next in action on Thursday night, as they travel to Washington to take on Alex Ovechkin and the still winless Capitals.

Habs and Hockey News and Notes:

- Tune in to the podcast of the post-game show on MontrealHockeyTalk.com, as host Corey Collard, Matt Casavant, Jay Ferrar and our own Kamal Panesar analyze the Canadiens' victory, and it possible implications in the P.K. Subban negociations.

- Dave Stubbs visits with former Hab and current Florida Panthers' winger Alex Kovalev to discuss his return to Montreal. 

- With Vancouver GM Mike Gillis' comments yesterday about a possible deal being close for trading goaltender Roberto Luongo, rumbling out of Toronto suggest that the "additional player" in the deal may be either Joffrey Lupul, who just signed a five-year extension with the Leafs, or Phil Kessel, who has lost favour with head coach Randy Carlyle.

- While we already knew sports merchandise sales were down during the NHL lockout, SportsPosterWarehouse.com posted some interesting stats in regards to how overall poster sales were affected. Hopefully, business is about to pick up.

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