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Montreal Canadiens' defenceman Andrei Markov lies on the ice after being injured during the first period of play against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey series in Pittsburgh.


It appears the Montreal Canadiens will have to make do without defenceman Andrei Markov for a while after he was diagnosed with a torn ACL.

Markov suffered the injury in Game 1 of the second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins last Friday when he took a big hit from Matt Cooke early in the first period and crumpled to the ice.

Despite news of the injury leaking out via a Team 990 radio report prior to Tuesday's Game 3, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said there was no update on Markov's condition at the morning skate. He also declined to comment on the status of defenceman Jaroslav Spacek, who has yet to play in the series due to an inner ear issue.

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One of Montreal's top players and regarded as one of the top defencemen in the league, Markov has been replaced on the Habs blueline the past two games mainly by rookie P.K. Subban and Roman Hamrlik, who both played big minutes on the second pairing in the Canadiens' Game 2 win Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Markov has battled injury issues for much of the year, and Montreal's record with him in the lineup (25-13-7) was far superior than it was without (14-20-3) during the regular season.

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Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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