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

Montreal heads to Sunrise to wrap up their road trip.

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

2-0-0H2H Record0-2-0
53.9% (4th)Corsi-for pct.49.9% (14th)
2.95 (18th)Goals per game3.00 (13th)
2.90 (12th)Goals against per game3.39 (28th)
13.1% (30th)PP%25.8% (3rd)
79.6% (19th)PK%81.5% (12th)

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 WingCentreRight Wing
Jonathan DrouinPhillip DanaultBrendan Gallagher
Tomas TatarMax DomiAndrew Shaw
Artturi LehkonenJesperi KotkaniemiJoel Armia
Charles HudonNate ThompsonDale Weise


Left DefenceRight Defence
Victor MeteShea Weber
Mikey ReillyJeff Petry
Brett KulakJordie Benn


Antti Niemi
Carey Price

Florida Panthers projected lineup


Left WingCentreRight Wing
Jonathan HuberdeauAleksander BarkovFrank Vatrano
Mike HoffmanVincent TrocheckEvgenii Dadonov
Derick BrassardHenrik BorgstromDenis Malgin
Jayce HawrylukRiley SheahanTroy Brouwer


Left DefenceRight Defence
Michael MathesonAaron Ekblad
Keith YandleMark Pysyk
Ian McCoshenJosh Brown


James Reimer
Samuel Montembeault

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