Galchenyuk nets first career NHL goal in Canadiens' win over Panthers

Sean Farrell, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MONTREAL -- Alex Galchenyuk made the most of a shift back to his natural position to claim a big milestone.
The 18-year-old rookie scored his first NHL goal and Andrei Markov scored twice on the power play to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal and Carey Price made 27 saves as the Canadiens bounced back from a 2-1 loss to Toronto in Saturday's season opener.
Galchenyuk jumped into the glass in the corner and the sold-out Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 roared its approval after he deflected Brandon Prust's shot past Scott Clemmensen for Montreal's fourth goal 14:25 into the second.
"It's awfully nice to get the first one out of the way," said Galchenyuk, who was chosen third overall by the Canadiens in the June 2012 draft. "It's special to play here in Montreal, and especially when we're winning and things are going our way, it's a special thing for sure."
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien left Lars Eller out of the lineup, allowing Galchenyuk to shift from left wing to center a line with Prust and Brendan Gallagher, who made his NHL debut.
"It was pretty special. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't nervous," said Gallagher, who got an assist on Galchenyuk's goal.
Tomas Kopecky scored his first goal of the season for Florida, which lost in 4-0 in Ottawa on Monday.
Clemmensen stopped 29 shots.
"It was a special-teams game tonight and we weren't good," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said.
Markov, who was limited to 20 games over the last two seasons by knee injuries, scored on a slap shot from the slot on a 5-on-3 advantage 13:24 into the first for his first goal since Nov. 9, 2010. He drove a one-timer past Clemmensen for his second goal of the game 8:31 into the second, which put Montreal up 3-1.
"He's the quarterback on our power play," Price said. "He logs a lot of minutes. He's really smart out there. He steps up at the right times. He's a big part of our club. We really missed him."
Plekanec opened the scoring when he drove the middle to take Brian Gionta's pass before beating Clemmensen with a shot into the left side of the net 3:26 in.
Kopecky's power-play goal 4:33 into the second briefly drew Florida within 2-1.
The Panthers were outscored 8-1 in their quick two-game Canadian trip after opening the season with a 5-1 win over Carolina on Saturday.
"This is a new group for the most part," Florida center Stephen Weiss said. "We've got some new guys, some new faces right now and we haven't had a lot of time to practice so we've got to learn on the fly, but it's not the end of the world. We lost two in a row but it's going to be a long year. It's not time to hit the panic button. We've just got to regroup, stay positive and go home and try and get a win, and go from there."
Dineen said that defenseman Mike Caruso suffered a broken arm. Caruso left the game after he was checked along the boards by Prust in the first.
NOTES: Panthers RW Alex Kovalev had 103 goals and 161 assists for 264 points in 314 games with Montreal from 2004-09. ... Florida captain Ed Jovanovski did not dress for the game. ... Panthers D Brian Campbell was called for holding 12:01 into the first. Campbell had just three minor penalties while playing all 82 games last season with Florida. He also had only three minors in 65 games with Chicago in 2010-11. ... Canadiens coach Michel Therrien left C Lars Eller out of the lineup. ... Montreal C Ryan White was given an instigating minor, a fighting major and a misconduct 3:13 into the third after he pounced on Tomas Fleischmann behind the Montreal net. Fleischmann, who assisted on Kopecky's goal, got a boarding minor for his hit on Josh Gorges.

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