Tag: Andrei Markov

Nathan Beaulieu

Habs’ Beaulieu wants to prove he’s ‘a top four guy’


With a new two-year, $2 million contract in his back pocket, Nathan Beaulieu is out to prove he can be a top-four defenseman, and power play specialist with the Montreal Canadiens.

“For next season I want to play a bigger role on the team,” Beaulieu said during his conference call on Saturday. “I feel I can play big minutes with this team. It doesn’t get handed to you, so I know I need to earn big minutes, and with that you need to be in tiptop shape.

“I feel like going forward the next couple seasons I want to prove I can play big minutes (and) that I’m definitely a top four guy that can help the team win.”

The 22-year-old appeared in 65 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15 scoring one goal and eight assists while averaging 15:42 in time on ice.

He also appeared in eight American Hockey League games with the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring two goals and four points.

“It took a lot of patience. It was a journey. I had to play a little time in the American (Hockey) League, and I had to grow little aspects of my game,” Beaulieu said of becoming an NHL regular. “It was a process and I feel like now I’ve grown into an NHL player.

“I feel like me along with the organization, we’ve figured out a plan for myself, and we know what I can do.”

Part of what the 6-foot-2, 194-pound blue liner wants to do moving forward is earn a regular role on the club’s power play.

“I’ve got a great guy to learn from in Andrei Markov,” he said. “I know I’m a power play guy, just got to wait for the opportunities and I know that eventually I’m going to be a power play guy.

“You got to earn it. It just doesn’t get given to you. I’m ready to take on responsibilities and earn a spot.”

Related: Habs cutting ties with Gonchar, Malhotra, Weaver

Not today: Montreal crushes Lightning to force Game 5

David Desharnais

Including the regular season, Montreal went into Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay without a single win in eight meetings. Another loss tonight would have ended the Canadiens’ playoff run, but instead they scored early and often in a 6-2 victory.

Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov set the tone of the game just 2:44 minutes in when he beat Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop. That put the game on a path that led to Bishop being pulled early in the second frame after allowing a soft goal from David Desharnais.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made his first career playoff appearance as a result, but it didn’t work out for him as Jeff Petry and Brendan Gallagher found the back of the net just 15 seconds apart to turn this contest into a blowout.

Tampa Bay was able to capitalize on a couple power-play opportunities after that, but Montreal didn’t let up in the third period so it’s hard for the Lightning to take many positives out of this one. Although they won Game 3, the Lightning were looking for a better performance tonight and didn’t get it.

Really the only silver lining for the Lightning is that they’re in a position to shake off this loss. They had a 3-0 series lead and thus still have three more chances to eliminate Montreal. Even still, it would be very dangerous to let the Canadiens get back into this series. With stars like goaltender Carey Price and defenseman P.K. Subban on their side, the Canadiens have the talent to make some history.

For a playoff overview and all tonight’s biggest stories, click here.

Video: With backs to wall, Habs jump to early 2-0 lead

Pacioretty goal

Down 3-0 in its series to Tampa Bay, Montreal needs a win tonight just to keep going. The Canadiens couldn’t have asked for a much better start.

Max Pacioretty did a great job of feeding the puck to defenseman P.K. Subban in the Lightning zone just a couple minutes into the game. However, with the Tampa Bay players flooding the center of the ice in anticipation of a shot from Subban, he instead moved the puck to Andrei Markov, who had a clean shot at goaltender Ben Bishop:

Pacioretty made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal just 8:43 minutes into the game after picking up teammate Torrey Mitchell’s successful clear:

That was Montreal’s second shorthanded marker of the 2015 playoffs. The Canadiens have scored once with the man advantage.