Hurting Habs prepare for Panthers
Canadiens have lost their last three games
The Montreal Canadiens will try to halt a losing skid when they take on the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Thursday.
The Canadiens have won six of their last 10 games but have lost their last three. The team's most recent outing was a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.
Montreal's Carey Price stopped 19 shots in that game.
"You can't blame him for everything," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "But on the other side, our goalies are going to have to be stronger. We can't win games giving up four of five goals every game, and the last two or three weeks it's been kind of that way."
Montreal got goals from centre Maxim Lapierre as well as wingers Alex Kovalev and Guillaume Latendresse.
Andrei Markov had an assist in that game, extending his point streak to nine games. The defenceman is Montreal's leading scorer with 38 points (seven goals, 31 assists).
Montreal (27-14-6) is fifth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Northeast Division.
Frolik steps up for Florida
Florida (22-17-8) is three spots behind Montreal in the East and is second in the Southeast Division.
Florida has won six of its last 10 games, including its last outing — a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Tomas Vokoun was solid in net for Florida, making 33 saves and posting a 0.94 save percentage.
Rookie centre Michael Frolik led the charge with a goal, his first since Jan. 10, and two assists.
"At the start of the season, I didn't get much ice time," said Frolik, who played in the YoungStars game in Montreal this past weekend. "Now, I'm playing more and more, and the coach is believing in me more and more. I'm getting more comfortable and confident."
"After Vokoun, [Frolik] was our best player tonight," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought he did an outstanding job for someone who just got back from the all-star break. It's a credit to him and his commitment to help us win the game."
Winger David Booth contributed a goal. He's the team's leading scorer with the 32 points (20 goals, 12 assists).
The Panthers have lost all three games against Montreal this season.
with files from Associated Press