Seven games into the season the Florida Panthers was headed to face the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-3-0 record, looking to add to their point total and move up the standings Jacob Markstrom would get the start. Just a few nights earlier Markstrom would relieve Jose Theodore in a game against the New York Islanders due to a minor injury. Markstrom would get his first NHL win in that game and head into Montreal for just the second start of his career. Markstrom since being drafted by Florida with the 31st pick in the second round of the 2008 entry draft has been touted as one of the best outside of the NHL. On this night he would show everyone why, and opening a few eyes to some who may not have heard of him prior.
Markstrom would come up a number of times with huge saves, causing many on the Canadiens roster to look in disbelief after what they thought would be a sure goal. Nicknamed “Alien” because of his size and I’m guessing his “out of this world” ability, Markstrom would repeatedly stand on his head in the third period to prevent going down in a tie game. The 6’6″ goaltender seemed to cover the entire net, even after going down to his knees to make a save the top of the net was always covered. His leg pads seemed to be brick walls every time he kicked them out to make a save and it became apparent he was hungry for his second straight win and would do anything to get it. Florida would go up 2-1 five minutes into the period but it hadn’t deflated the Canadiens who did everything in their power to put one past Markstrom, who ended the game with 40 saves in the victory.
Many who missed this game took to their televisions or the internet to view highlights as word quickly spread. A benefit (and sometimes a curse) of playing in Montreal. Markstrom gave notice to the NHL that he would be there soon and to watch out, because he doesn’t like to lose.