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Canadiens vs. Panthers: Game thread, start time, Tale of the Tape, lines, and how to watch

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Can the Canadiens ramp the emotion back up to get wins on consecutive nights?

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

Montreal Canadiens vs. Florida Panthers

How to watch

Start time: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2, TSN Direct (English), RDS, RDS Direct (French)
In the Panthers region: Fox Sports-Florida
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/Rogers NHL Live

Beating some bad teams and losing to some good ones in the last few weeks, there were a few questions about how the Canadiens would fare against a team on a charge like the Boston Bruins. The answer we got last night was that Montreal isn’t quite at Boston’s level, but Carey Price is up for whatever challenge you throw in front of him at the moment.

Price made 41 saves for the win as his team was outshot by a nearly two-to-one margin, with many of those coming in the third period as the Canadiens tried (unsuccessfully) to hang on to a 2-1 lead. Jeff Petry ensured the performance from his netminder wasn’t wasted, as Boston never got control of the puck in overtime before he could finish the game off.

The Habs are now back in Montreal, still enjoying the win, but having to prepare for another game less than 24 hours later. After a battle for playoff position last night, it won’t be so easy to get energized for a contest versus a Florida Panthers club well outside the post-season picture, but they will have to find a way if they want to build up a bit of momentum.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Devils
Canadiens Statistic Devils
28-18-5 Record 19-24-7
0-1-0 H2H Record 1-0-0
53.7% (4th) Corsi-for pct. 48.3% (22nd)
2.98 (15th) Goals per game 2.96 (16th)
2.92 (12th) Goals against per game 3.38 (28th)
13.0% (T-30th) PP% 19.1% (18th)
79.5% (17th) PK% 83.9% (5th)
W-W-W-L-W Form L-L-L-W-L

We haven’t even reached the middle of the month, and this is the eighth game the Canadiens will contest since the turn of the calendar. However, after tonight, they only play three more games in January, with the next one coming on Friday, so there is plenty of rest on the horizon.

At the Bell Centre tonight, they’re playing a team that doesn’t have a single win in 2019, handed six straight losses. It’s been a month since they defeated a team that currently occupies a playoff spot, and that’s seriously hampering their chances of making the post-season.

Included in that stretch is a 5-3 loss to Montreal at BB&T Center on December 28. Two goals from Tomas Tatar and a game-winner from Artturi Lehkonen helped Montreal claim the two points during what had been an encouraging run for Florida to wrap up 2018.

Antti Niemi was in net for the win, and he will be again tonight as Price gets a much deserved rest after frustrating the Bruins on Monday. The Canadiens shouldn’t count on their backup holding the fort as they much as they leaned on their starter a night ago, but that may provide the added incentive to spend more time in Florida’s zone.

The losses have been hard to swallow for the Panthers. They have scored three goals in four of them on their six-game losing streak, but their opponent managed to score four in each of those, with two losses coming in extra time.

Scoring isn’t the issue for the Panthers. They have five players with at least 35 points, and three with 40. The biggest problem is an inability to get saves.

Roberto Luongo and James Reimer both have save percentages below .900, and that’s nearly impossible to overcome, even for a team ranking 12th in shots against per game. If Montreal is able to get set up in Florida’s zone, there will be opportunities to find their new lines some chemistry.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jonathan Drouin Phillip Danault Brendan Gallagher
Tomas Tatar Max Domi Paul Byron
Artturi Lehkonen Jesperi Kotkaniemi Joel Armia
Charles Hudon Matthew Peca Nicolas Deslauriers

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Victor Mete Shea Weber
Mikey Reilly Jeff Petry
Brett Kulak Jordie Benn

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Antti Niemi
Michael McNiven

Florida Panthers projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Marcus Johansson Nico Hischier Kyle Palmieri
Miles Wood Travis Zajac Blake Coleman
Brett Seney Pavel Zacha Jesper Bratt
Brian Boyle Kevin Rooney Drew Stafford

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Andy Greene Damon Severson
Mirco Mueller Will Butcher
Egor Iakovlev Steven Santini

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Keith Kinkaid
MacKenzie Blackwood