The Canadiens took on the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre Thursday night and they were in the game until the very end.
After Sam Reinhart scored a power-play goal at 7:20 of the third period to give the visitors a 4-2 lead, Martin St. Louis went all-in when he pulled goaltender Jake Allen with more than five minutes remaining. The ploy produced a goal from Paul Byron to cut lead to one goal, but that was the way it finished.
Ben Chiarot, who has been hanging around Montreal waiting for the Panthers since he was traded five days before Monday’s deadline, played a key role as the Panthers took a 3-2 lead at 7:06 of the second period.
Anthony Duclair deflected Chiarot’s shot from the blue line for his 25th goal. There was a short delay as the Canadiens pondered whether to challenge the goal because of a high stick. It would have been a close call and, given the uncertain nature of decisions from the situation room in Toronto and the prospect of the goal being counted and a penalty assessed on top of that, the Canadiens decided not to challenge.