There have been few bright spots this season for the Montreal Canadiens, but the return of veteran defenseman Andrei Markov certainly qualifies as a highlight.
That it came in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night made it that much better.
''It was awesome,'' said Markov, the 33-year-old Russian, who fought back from two operations on his right knee that cost him 133 games over two seasons. ''We just beat one of the strongest teams in the league.''
Markov played more than 17 minutes, and his pass to P.K. Subban set up a power-play goal that gave Montreal a 3-1 lead.
''I felt good,'' said Markov, who injured his knee on Nov. 13, 2010. ''The first few shifts I had to adjust to the speed, but after that I felt good. My job is just to play the game. I don't know how many minutes I'm going to play next game. I'm just happy to be there.''
There were few in the Canadiens' dressing room happier to see Markov back than goalie Carey Price, who kept his team in the ga...