(photo courtesy of theprovince.com)
On a night where many Russian NHL’ers were getting their first goals or wins of the season, one man stood above the rest. Having only suited up 17 times for the Montreal Canadiens since Nov. 9, 2010, Andrei Markov scored two goals against the Florida Panthers and showed (at least for one night) that he still has quite the cannon from the point. Finally past the two anterior cruciate ligament surgeries on his right knee, Markov showed little hesitance on using his beloved slapshot, making netminder Scott Clemmensen look absolutely hapless on both goals.
It would be his first multi-goal game since 2009 and proved to be the difference as the Habs would go on to win 4-1. Alex Galchenyuk, born to Russian parents, got his first NHL goal later in the game. Elsewhere around the league, Galchenyuk’s former Sarnia Sting teammate Nail Yakupov notched his first career goal as well for the Edmonton Oilers. New Jerysey’s Ilya Kovalchuk got his first goal of the season by beating fellow countrymen Ilya Bryzgalov on a penalty shot. Lastly, Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov earned his first win of the new season stopping 28 shots against the Los Angeles Kings.