Report: Markov out 3 weeks, season over for Schneider Staff

4/6/2009 9:59:29 PM

The defence corps for the Montreal Canadiens took a major hit Monday, as the Habs could be without leading scorer Andrei Markov for three weeks while Mathieu Schneider's season is reportedly over.

Both players underwent x-rays and MRI's earlier in the day after being injured during Saturday's victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.  RDS is reporting that Schneider will likely have to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery while Markov, who is suffering an injury to his left knee, would likely return by the end of the month.

It would be a major hit for a Montreal team that has suddenly rounded into form after struggling earlier in the year.  Markov, who suffered the injury in the third period Saturday when he was drilled by Leafs' forward Mikhail Grabovski, leads the team with 64 points, while Schneider Schneider left in the first period after taking a hard hit from Brad May.

Schneider was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers prior to the NHL trade deadline to boost the Canadiens power play.  In 21 games with the Habs, the New York native has four goals and 12 assists with 13 of those points coming with the man advantage.

The Candiens face the Senators Monday night in search of their fourth straight victory.  The team currently sit seventh in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers.  Montreal is also just one point back of idle Pittsburgh for the East's sixth spot.