Plekanec nets 2, leads Canadiens over Panthers

Tomas Plekanec netted his second goal of the game during

Montreal’s three-goal spurt early in the third period, and the

Canadiens topped the Florida Panthers 6-2 in a preseason game

Monday night.

Tom Pyatt, Plekanec and Ryan White scored 3:45 apart as Montreal

beat Jacob Markstrom on the first, fifth and sixth shots they took

on the Florida backup.

Mike Cammalleri had a goal and two assists, and Lars Eller added

three assists for the Canadiens.

Plekanec and Jaroslav Spacek scored in the first, and Carey

Price made 19 saves for his first preseason win.

David Booth and Stephen Weiss each had a power-play goal and an

assist for Florida, which lost for the first time in four preseason

games.

Markstrom stopped 10 shots in the third. Tomas Vokoun made 19

saves in two periods.

Pyatt drove a slap shot past Markstrom 44 seconds into the third

to increase Montreal’s lead to 3-1. Plekanec scored his second at

3:47 to make it 4-1. White went to his backhand to score on the

Canadiens’ next shot at 4:29.

White and Florida’s Mike Duco got major and game misconduct

penalties amid a couple of fights at 12:47.

Erik Gudbranson, the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, needed

stitches to close a cut on his left eyebrow after he was punched by

Montreal’s Travis Moen.

”I was pinned against the boards, and the refs were holding

onto my arms so I was kind of hung out to dry there,” said

Gudbrandson, who also had a bulging welt below his left eye.

Panthers coach Peter DeBoer thought Moen took advantage of the

18-year-old defenseman’s predicament.

”I don’t know when it became all right in this league for a

veteran guy to get a young kid hurt and in a vulnerable position

and to keep throwing punches,” DeBoer said. ”It was a play that I

don’t see how they can be proud of.”

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said he ”didn’t really see” the

incident.

”On our bench we don’t have a good view how it started so I

can’t comment on that,” Martin said.

Plekanec, who has four goals in three games, put Montreal up 2-1

with a short-handed goal late in the first.

Booth, who scored his third goal in two games, is bouncing back

after playing only 25 games last season because of two

concussions.

After tallying two goals in the Panthers’ 3-2 win over Boston on

Thursday in Rochester, N.Y, Booth put a rebound past Price to open

the scoring 8:32 into the game.

Spacek got credit for the goal that drew the Canadiens even at 1

when his shot struck Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov on its way

past Vokoun at 15:57.

Booth earned his fourth point in two games with an assist when

Weiss scored off a rebound 18:07 into the third to make it 5-2.

”He looks like he’s back to the same old David Booth,” DeBoer

said. ”He’s going into traffic, he’s creating chances, he’s using

his speed, he’s been physical – he looks like he’s back and that’s

a good sign for us.”

Cammalleri scored with 33 seconds remaining.

Price, the Canadiens’ uncontested No. 1 goalie after playoff

hero Jaroslav Halak was traded to St. Louis, came up with his best

result in three games. It didn’t take much, though, to improve his

outings in losses to Boston and Ottawa.

The 23-year-old Price entered with a 6.67 goals-against-average

and a .750 save percentage after allowing 10 goals on 40 shots

through his first 90 minutes of action.