Defencemen Markov and Schneider reportedly lost for Habs’ playoff drive

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov will be out three weeks and fellow blue-liner Mathieu Schneider is out for the season, several media sources reported Monday.

A Canadiens spokesman said the team will comment after Montreal’s game Monday against the Ottawa Senators.

Both Markov and Schneider were injured in Montreal’s 6-2 win Saturday night in Toronto.

Markov was lost in the third period after going heavily into the boards on a hit by the Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski, while Schneider took a hard hit from Brad May in the first period and did not finish the game.

Markov and Schneider were the top defensive pairing for a rejuvenated Canadiens power play that was on a 13-for-35 roll prior to Monday’s game.

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Markov was the Canadiens leading scorer entering play Monday with 64 points and led the team in ice time at 24:37 per game.

Schneider was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers in a Feb. 16 trade to bolster a struggling power play and he did just that, notching 16 points – 13 on the power play – in 21 games since the trade.

The Canadiens entered play Monday seventh in the Eastern Conference with 92 points, five points ahead of the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers.