Canadiens @ Panthers: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch
Montreal hopes to keep momentum alive.
Montreal Canadiens @ Florida Panthers
How to watch
Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Panthers region: BSFLX
Streaming: ESPN+, RDS Direct, TSN+
Fresh off the heels of winning their first game in two-and-a-half weeks, the Montreal Canadiens will look to keep their confidence riding high as they prepare to face off against the Florida Panthers this evening in Sunrise.
Tale of the Tape
|43.4% (30th)||Scoring-chances-for %||54.9% (3rd)|
|2.74 (28th)||Goals per game||3.39 (9th)|
|3.62 (27th)||Goals against per game||3.36 (23rd)|
|15.9% (31st)||PP%||22.1% (12th)|
Winning 6-4 over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night was a great show of resilience. The Habs fell behind just under five minutes into the contest as forwards Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin quickly got to starter Sam Montembeault and made it 2-0 Pittsburgh.
The resiliency came through in big fashion as Montreal replied with a quick pair of their own, scoring twice in 1:52, first with Mike Hoffman scoring his 11th on a nice drop-pass by Rem Pitlick, followed by a wrist shot from the point by forward Jesse Ylönen, who scored his fourth and second in as many games.
Minutes later it was newcomer Denis Gurianov’s turn to get on the board. The 25-year-old Russian winger who came over in exchange for Evgenii Dadonov back on February 26 has found a resurgence playing in Montreal, scoring for the third game in a row. He has four goals and an assist in the nine games since the acquisition.
Late in the first period it was defenceman Joel Edmundson’s turn to get on the board wiring a shot from the point for his second of the season.
The four goals on seven shots chased starter Tristan Jarry from the Pittsburgh net, replaced by Casey DeSmith, who really wasn't tested in the second period at all. It was an all-Penguins period as they fired everything they could at Montembeault, outshooting the Habs 17-4. On two of the occasions, Kris Letang and Guentzel were able to find the back of the net to tie the game up at four apiece heading to the third.
The game-winner for Montreal was scored just under four minutes into the third when blue-liner Justin Barron sent an outlook pass tape-to-tape down to an open Anthony Richard, who made no mistake wiring the second of his rookie campaign. Edmundson was credited with a secondary assist, which was also point number 100 in his injury-plagued career.
The rest of the way, it was Montembeault stonewalling Pittsburgh, stopping all 11 shots he faced in the third en route to his 13th win of the season. Josh Anderson sealed the deal with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Montreal has since travelled to Florida to face a team desperate to win at all costs. Last year’s President’s Trophy-winner is currently on the outside looking in, sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, and five points back of the final wild card spot held by the New York Islanders. The Panthers do, however, have three games in hand.
They’re also very well rested having not played since Saturday when they dropped a 5-4 game in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets. Prior to the loss, the Cats had won three in a row. The Panthers also do have a strong advantage over Montreal this season, having beaten them twice already, once in Florida back on December 29, and then in Montreal on January 19. They’ve outscored Montreal 13-4 through the two contests, with 7-2 and 6-2 victories.
The game in Florida back in December was an explosive night for captain Aleksander Barkov, who had a first-period hat trick, the fourth of his career, and a five-point night overall. Matthew Tkachuk also potted a pair, with an assist in the win. Arber Xhekaj and Anderson scored the goals for Montreal.
A couple of weeks later in Montreal, it was Tkachuk again who potted a pair, and the team took advantage of a five-goal second period to obliterate Montreal quickly. Pitlick and Anderson scored in that 6-2 loss.
Montembeault did not fare well, having started both contests this season, so despite his win to snap a seven-game losing streak in Pittsburgh, we might see Jake Allen try his luck against the Florida heat. Both teams will be hungry for the win, and we’ll find who earns the two points ... at the rink.