Where did that come from?
The Montreal Canadiens had been badly slumping heading into Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers. Their general manager Marc Bergevin was on the hot seat so early in the season, as the roster he’s assembled had won its opener and then lost seven straight games, a streak that hit a low point during a stretch through California.
One victory after such a bad stretch of hockey may not be enough to instantly quell that.
The Habs were able to snap that losing skid on Tuesday, crushing the Panthers by a score of 5-1. This, however, should put into perspective just how bad the Canadiens were while up against the Ducks, Kings and Sharks last week. So bad that on one Anaheim goal, Carey Price finally had enough and took his frustrations out on the goal post with his goalie stick.
At least for one night, the Habs were able to shed all the frustration from this recent losing streak. It didn’t start right away. The Panthers took the lead early in the second period.
But then, suddenly, the floodgates opened for the Habs late in the second period.
Alex Galchenyuk, who was demoted to the fourth line this week, started the rally by driving hard to the net to bury a rebound. Shea Weber followed that up with one of those freakish Shea Weber slap shots, giving Montreal the lead. Brendan Gallagher followed that up just 17 seconds later. Just like that, Montreal had scored three goals in 1:35 to take the lead.
Weber and the slumping Max Pacioretty secured the win with quick goals in the third period.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but we can’t step back,” Weber told NHL.com. “We’ve got to keep our foot on the gas and we’ve got to keep getting better.”
Easier said than done.
They host the L.A. Kings on Thursday. The Kings will enter that game with a 7-1-1 record, which puts them second in the overall standings right now behind only Tampa Bay.
Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.