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Canadiens vs Panthers game thread

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The Habs are in a fight against a team battling hard for the last playoff position.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Habs hobbled out of Kanata last night and got on the bus to take the two hour ride home to Montreal. With Alexei Emelin injured, and P.K. Subban hurt (but not injured) taking a stinging shot off the foot, the Habs left Canadian Tire Place after last night's game battered and bruised. Unable to take advantage of a team decimated with injuries, and outside of a playoff spot, the Habs played a very sloppy game and allowed the Senators to throw 69 shot attempts towards Dustin Tokarski who made 35 saves on the 38 shots thrown his way.

The Habs are right back on the ice tonight, gratefully, with the opportunity to move forward after last night's questionable loss. Questionable, in that the Habs still sit first in the Eastern Conference with 78 points and are unable to take wins from teams like the Sabres, Coyotes, and Senators, teams that are in re-organization or full rebuild mode, yet, play solid defensive games against the likes of the Detroit Red Wings as the Habs did on Monday night in a solid 2-0 victory.

The difference between the Habs team that played in Detroit, and the one that was on the ice last night seems to be connected to the presence of Carey Price being on the ice. Although Monday's game against the Red Wings can be deemed a "solid win", the Habs still allowed 59 shot attempts and 25 shots on goal. Carey Price saved all 25 thrown his way for the shutout. The unaccounted for ability of Price to be a calm presence seems to mask defensive lapses as he gobbles up high-percentage chance pucks with ease, and stops opposing momentum instead of scrambling for saves and leaving momentum on the table for the opposition.

The Florida Panthers currently sit 3 points out of the last Eastern Conference playoff spot held by the Boston Bruins. With one game at hand on the Bruins, the Panthers will be looking to move one point back of the last playoff spot with as many games played. The Panthers are a positive-statistic team with good Corsi-For numbers, sitting 12th in the league at a Corsi-For % of 54.0. Florida has also allowed the 9th least amount of goals in the league at 93, but also has trouble scoring only putting up 98 goals in 56 games played.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.

In Canada (English): Sportsnet East
In Canada (French): RDS
In the Panthers' Region: Fox Sports Florida
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller Tomas Plekanec Jiri Sekac
Brandon Prust Jacob de la Rose Dale Weise
Michael Bournival Manny Malholtra Christian Thomas
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Nathan Bealieu Tom Gilbert
Jarred Tinordi Greg Pateryn
Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

ScratchedMike Weaver
P.A. Parenteau (concussion), Sergei Gonchar (lower-body), Alexei Emelin (upper-body), Alex Galchenyuk (virus)

Florida Panthers Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Jussi Jokinen Nick Bjugstad Jimmy Hayes
Jonathan Hurberdeau Aleksander Barkov Brad Boyes
Tomas Fleischmann Dave Bolland Scottie Upshall
Shawn Thornton Derek Mackenzie Tomas Kopecky
Left Defense
Right Defense
Brian Campbell Aaron Ekblad
Erik Gudbranson Steven Kampfer
Alex Petrovic Shane O'Brien
Roberto Luongo
Al Montoya

Scratched: Sean Bergenheim, Dmitry Kulikov
Injuries: Willie Mitchell (upper-body), Brandon Pirri (upper-body)

Check out the enemy over at Litter Box For Cats.