Markov back with Habs

Habs defenceman Andrei Markov will make his season debut tonight against the Panthers. (QMI...

Habs defenceman Andrei Markov will make his season debut tonight against the Panthers. (QMI Agency/Sebastien St-Jean)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:23 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Missing since the start of training camp due to off-season surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, Andrei Markov will return to the Montreal Canadiens' lineup tonight against the Florida Panthers.

Since the Canadians have a success rate of just over 8% on the power play, the return of the Russian defender could not come at a better time.

"We just have to do the simple things and keep putting pucks on the net," Markov said on the Canadiens' official web site. "Sometimes, when you're having a tough time, the best thing to do is to go out and get some ugly goals to get yourself back on track."

That said, Markov isn't putting any extra pressure on himself to give the Canadiens an immediate boost.

"I just want to get out there on the ice, play hockey and have fun," said Markov. "When you make the decision that you're in good enough shape to come back and play, there are no excuses anymore. I'm going out there tonight and giving it 100%."

Markov, who is expected to be paired with rookie P.K. Subban tonight, will replace Alexandre Picard in the Habs' lineup.

"It's great that he's going to be playing with the team," Subban said. "He's a world-class player, he brings a lot of skill and talent to the table and I know I'm definitely not the only guy who's happy to see him back and ready to go."


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