The Florida Panthers began their final home stand of the 2016-17 regular season with a 4-1 defeat to the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center on Monday night. It was the first of three home games for the Cats in Sunrise. The Canadiens, who have won five straight games, clinched the Atlantic Division with the victory.
Montreal(46-24-9) waited until 13:12 into the first period to take the lead 1-0. Artturi Lehkonen made a pass to Alex Galchenyuk who was behind the Panthers cage. He centered it in front and Andre Shaw would snap in a shot from the low slot by Reto Berra.
Florida(33-35-11) tied the contest up 1-1 at the 8:57 mark of the second period as Jonathan Marchessault scored his 30th goal of the season. Micahel Sgarbossa was in the left circle and let Marchessault take the puck from him. He skated through the slot, delayed an attempted and then scored on a wrist shot from the low right circle past Charlie Lindgren. Marchessault passed Scott Mellanby for second in franchise history with the most goals in his first season with the Panthers.
In the third period, the Habs regained the lead 2-1 at 1:27. Jeff Petry poked the puck ahead from the right point to Lehkonen at the top right circle. He pulled ahead and fired a high wrist shot for his 15th goal of the campaign.
Later in the period, Paul Byron went on a breakaway and shot the puck wide left of the net. The puck bounced off the end wall to Lehkonen in the left circle and he powered home a slap shot for his second goal of the game at 16:49. Alexander Radulov added an empty-net goal with 1:26 remaining in the game off a feed from Max Pacioretty.