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Game Thread: Habs look to claw up the East vs Panthers

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Sitting dead last in the NHL's Eastern Conference, the Montreal Canadiens hope to start climbing back up the standings at the hands of the Florida Panthers.

Both clubs made deals over the weekend, with the Panthers sending David Booth to the Vancouver Canucks for Marco Strum and Mikael Samuelsson.

Sturm will be in the lineup tonight against Montreal, while Samuelsson remains in Vancouver to nurse a minor injury.

Jacob Markstrom left the ice first at this morning's skate, but head coach Kevin Dineen did not give a verbal confirmation whether he or Jose Theodore would get the nod.

The Canadiens latest acquisition, Petteri Nokelainen will be on the ice tonight. The finnish center will wear number 15, centering Michael Blunden and Mathieu Darche.

Jaroslav Spacek is also expected to play tonight, which means Alexei Emelin will sit out.

Peter Budaj makes his Canadiens debut between the pipes.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Mike Cammalleri - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole

Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Andrei Kostitsyn

Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Michael Blunden

Defense Pairings

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz

Jaroslav Spacek - Yannick Weber

Goalies

Peter Budaj - Carey Price

FLORIDA PANTHERS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg

Tomas Kopecky - Marcel Goc - Scottie Upshall

Shawn Matthias - Tim Kennedy - Matt Bradley

Marco Sturm - Mike Santorelli - Jack Skille

Defense Pairings

Brian Campbell - Jason Garrison

Ed Jovanovski - Erik Gudbranson

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver

Goalies

Jacob Markstrom - Jose Theodore

Panthers vs Canadiens coverage

Panthers coverage from Litter Box Cats