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

Florida arrives in town with most of its NHL roster in tow.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens faced a New Jersey Devils team missing top players Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier on Monday night. On Wednesday, the Habs will face the very best of what the Florida Panthers have to offer.

Led by newly named captain Aleksander Barkov, the Panthers’ top seven scorers from last season will be on the ice at the Bell Centre, including top defencemen Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad. Roberto Luongo also makes the trip back to his hometown, and while it’s unlikely he plays the full game, he should get into the action as well.

Montreal will counter with a lineup headed by the trio of Jonathan Drouin, Max Domi, and Joel Armia, which was impressive in the pre-season and throughout Montreal’s Red vs. White Scrimmage on Sunday afternoon.

If the lines remain similar to those seen for Team White in the intra-squad game, the rest of the forward group will be comprised mainly of players still hoping to earn a place on the opening-night roster. After the door to a spot was shut by the surprise return of Paul Byron, another may have been opened with news that Nicolas Deslauriers is out indefinitely after surgery.

While it is just the pre-season, the opposition will provide a good benchmark for the Canadiens’ coaching staff to evaluate the bubble players against.

Puck drop is at 7:30 PM EDT / 4:30 PM PDT

How to watch

In the Canadiens region: TSN2, TSN Direct (English), RDS, RDS Direct (French)
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/Rogers GameCentre Live

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#90 Tomas Tatar #24 Phillip Danault #11 Brendan Gallagher
#54 Charles Hudon #15 Jesperi Kotkaniemi #62 Artturi Lehkonen
#43 Michael Chaput #63 Matthew Peca #72 Joel Ward
#25 Jacob de la Rose #22 Lukas Vejdemo #68 Alexandre Alain

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#73 Michal Moravčík #21 David Schlemko
#61 Xavier Ouellet #32 Simon Desprès
#17 Rinat Valiev #57 David Sklenička

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#39 Charlie Lindgren
#70 Michael McNiven

Florida Panthers projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Alexander Ovechkin Evgeny Kuznetsov Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky Garrett Pilon Brett Connolly
Beck Malenstyn Michael Sgarbossa Maximilian Kammerer
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby Jayson Megna Nathan Walker

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Michal Kempny Tyler Lewington
Brooks Oprik Christian Djoos
Tobias Geisser Connor Hobbs

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Pheonix Copley
Vitek Vanecek