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Canadiens vs. Panthers: Game thread, rosters, lines and how to watch

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Can the Habs wrap up their six-game homestand with a win?

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After tonight, the Habs will play four of their five remaining games on the road. While the likelihood of the Canadiens making the playoffs seems certain, and while winning the Atlantic Division is slowly becoming more probable, unfortunately for anyone hoping to rest up and recharge their batteries for a long playoff run, there’s still important hockey to play.

The Canadiens are very near to clinching a playoff spot, and now four points up on the Ottawa Senators (who have one less game played), the temptation to pull the foot off the gas is a definite psychological factor that Claude Julien will have to manage as he continues to prepare his team for the post-season.

The Florida Panthers find themselves on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go,. At 77 points, the Panthers are not mathametically eliminated yet, but are as close to definitely not making it as you can get at this point in the season. Coming off a 3-2 loss to the Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, the Panthers come into Montreal with only two wins in their last six, however, including a 7-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

In other words, the Habs would serve themselves best to get on top of this game early so that they don’t risk what are still two very valuable points slip through their hands.

Al Montoya is still out with an injury, meaning Charlie Lindgren will sit as Carey Price’s backup. With Roberto Luongo still out of the lineup with a lower body injury, and James Reimer sustaining an injury on Tuesday night, the Panthers will run with Reto Berra for the fourth time this season.

Puck Drop is 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST

How to watch:

Canada (English): Rogers Sportsnet East
Canada (French): RDS

In the U.S: FSFL

Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Gamecentre Live, NHL Centre Ice

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Phillip Danault Alexander Radulov
Artturi Lehkonen Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Paul Byron Brian Flynn Alex Galchenyuk
Dwight King Steve Ott Michael McCarron

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Victor Mete Shea Weber
Karl Alzner Jeff Petry
Joe Morrow Jordie Benn

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Antti Niemi
Charlie Lindgren

Inured: Al Montoya (lower body), Nikita Nesterov (undisclosed), Brian Flynn (upper body)

Florida Panthers Projected Lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Evander Kane Jack Eichel Jason Pominville
Benoit Pouliot Ryan O'Reilly Kyle Okposo
Zemgus Girgensons Sam Reinhart Seth Griffith
Johan Larsson Jacob Josefson Jordan Nolan

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Nathan Beaulieu Rasmus Ristolainen
Marco Scandella Matt Tennyson
Jake McCabe Viktor Antipin

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Robin Lehner
Chad Johnson

Injured: Roberto Luongo (lower body), Michal Sgarbossa (undisclosed), Denis Malgin (concussion), Aaron Ekblad (neck), James Reimer (undisclosed)