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

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After a lopsided loss in New Jersey, Montreal rolls into Sunrise to face one of the NHL’s hottest teams.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

After an embarrassing effort in New Jersey where the Canadiens sleepwalked through the first 50 minutes of the game, they headed south to the Sunshine State to meet with the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

The team is of course travelling without many of its stars, including Max Pacioretty, Shea Weber and Carey Price, with two of said players shut down for the rest of the year, and Price’s status being unclear as he recovers from a concussion. The severity of an injury to rookie forward Charles Hudon, who has missed the past few games recovering from a minor hand injury, is not known.

Zachary Fucale was returned to the Laval Rocket after the loss, meaning former Panther Antti Niemi is recovered from his injury, yet dealing with an illness, though healthy enough to serve as Charlie Lindgren backupin tonight’s game.

As for the Panthers, they were seemingly out of the race not too long ago, but the return of Roberto Luongo seems to have sparked life into a team that was on its last legs just before the holiday season. The Panthers are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and sit just two points out of the final wild-card spot, with three games in hand on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal is essentially locked out of the playoff picture at this point, but in a game like this they can be a major spoiler for a team looking to squeak into that last post-season berth.

Puck drop is at 7:30 PM EST/ 4:30 PM PST

How to watch

In Canada: TSN2, TSN GO (English), RDS (French)
In the Panthers region: Fox Sports Florida
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Alex Galchenyuk Jonathan Drouin Artturi Lehkonen
Nikita Scherbak Jacob de la Rose Brendan Gallagher
Paul Byron Andrew Shaw Logan Shaw
Nicolas Deslauriers Byron Froese Daniel Carr

Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Mike Reilly Jeff Petry
Karl Alzner Noah Juulsen
Rinat Valiev Jordie Benn

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Antti Niemi
Charlie Lindgren

Florida Panthers projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Evgenii Dadonov Aleksander Barkov Nick Bjugstad
Jonathan Huberdeau Vincent Trocheck Radim Vrbata
Jamie McGinn Jared McCann Maxim Mamin
Micheal Haley Derek MacKenzie Colton Sceviour

Defence

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Keith Yandle Aaron Ekblad
Michael Matheson Mark Pysyk
MacKenzie Weegar Alex Petrovic

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Roberto Luongo
James Reimer