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Canadiens @ Panthers: Game thread, lines, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

Montreal heads to Sunrise to wrap up their road trip.

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

Montreal Canadiens @ Florida Panthers

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now (English)
In the Canadiens region: RDS, RDS Direct
In the Panthers region: Fox Sports - Florida

The Montreal Canadiens have taken the first two games of the season series versus the Florida Panthers, scoring five goals in each one. The first came in late December as the team was gearing up to play the Tampa Bay Lightning the next day. The Habs scored a goal 35 seconds in and then pulled away with a great third period to seal it.

The second meeting came the day after a big overtime victory over the Boston Bruins in mid-January. After the match with their longtime rival, and playing their sixth game in nine days, the Canadiens weren’t able to match that intensity versus the Panthers, and were shelled with 53 shots.

Fortunately, Antti Niemi was on top of his game, and turned aside 52 of them to finish just short of the franchise saves record. While he was protecting his net, the Canadiens were filling the one at the other end, leaving little drama as the game reached its final minutes.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Panthers
Canadiens Statistic Panthers
31-20-7 Record 24-24-8
2-0-0 H2H Record 0-2-0
53.9% (4th) Corsi-for pct. 49.9% (14th)
2.95 (18th) Goals per game 3.00 (13th)
2.90 (12th) Goals against per game 3.39 (28th)
13.1% (30th) PP% 25.8% (3rd)
79.6% (19th) PK% 81.5% (12th)
W-W-OTL-L-L Form W-W-L-L-W

Niemi can claim the Panthers series to be his own, as he will get the call again today to try to run his winning streak to three versus one of his former teams. While the group in front of him shouldn’t be as fatigued as the one that played a month ago, the possibility for a similar letdown when going from a top divisional opponent to a lottery team could still be an issue.

The Canadiens can’t afford to have such a lapse in intensity in what has become a tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference. They were several points up on the wild-card teams when they defeated the Winnipeg Jets on February 7, but just one point from their next three games, with a four-day layoff in that period as well, has dropped them among a mass of teams fighting for those final two post-season berths.

Such a drop was to be expected as the overachieving Canadiens took on some of the league’s best. Their schedule contains more non-playoff teams in the next few weeks, so a return to winning ways could be in the cards.

Despite their place among the bottom teams in the East, the Panthers have been getting a few wins of late, aided by some overtime decisions going in their favour over the past week. They’ve won seven of their last 11 since struggling through a seven-game losing streak, with wins over the likes of Nashville, San Jose, Washington, and. most recently, the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames in that stretch.

With nothing to lose at this point, the Panthers are free to just play the game without worrying about results. But there is a reason why the team is outside of the playoff picture, and as long as Montreal puts in the necessary effort for the full 60 minutes, a third consecutive win over the club should be the result.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup


Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jonathan Drouin Phillip Danault Brendan Gallagher
Tomas Tatar Max Domi Andrew Shaw
Artturi Lehkonen Jesperi Kotkaniemi Joel Armia
Charles Hudon Nate Thompson Dale Weise


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


Antti Niemi
Carey Price

Florida Panthers projected lineup


Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jonathan Huberdeau Aleksander Barkov Frank Vatrano
Mike Hoffman Vincent Trocheck Evgenii Dadonov
Derick Brassard Henrik Borgstrom Denis Malgin
Jayce Hawryluk Riley Sheahan Troy Brouwer


Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Michael Matheson Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle Mark Pysyk
Ian McCoshen Josh Brown


James Reimer
Samuel Montembeault