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Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers - Game 61 Preview

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Florida: 28-20-12 (68PTS)
Montreal: 24-28-10 (58PTS)
Season Series: 2-0-0
Game Time: 5:00 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, RDS
Radio: 640 AM WFTL

The Panthers complete their back-to-back games against the Eastern Conference's two basement teams this afternoon when the Montreal Canadiens visit Sunrise. Stephen Weiss will be honored before for setting a new franchise record for games played Saturday night in Carolina. As in Saturday's game, the Cats enter the game up 2-0-0 in the season series, winning one on the road and one at home. The Cats got a much needed victory in the shootout in Carolina and are once again the Southeast Division leaders by virtue of the games played tiebreaker. A win tonight would give the Cats sole possession of the lead and two points on the Jets and three on the Capitals. The Canadiens are 5-4-1 in their last ten games, but are on a three game losing streak. The Panthers are 4-5-1 in their last ten and broke a four game losing streak last night.

More from our Montreal cohorts at Habs Eyes On The Prize.
Canadiens vs Panthers coverage at SB Nation.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

Tomas Fleischmann had the game winner and Scott Clemmensen the win as the Panthers defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in Sunrise on New Year's Eve.

Last game

New Panther Wojtek Wolski had the tying goal and Mikael Samuelsson and Stephen Weiss had goals in the shootout to complete a third period comeback against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Lineup

New Panthers Wojtek Wolski and Jerrod Smithson made their debuts Saturday night and Jason Garrison returned from injury. Michal Repik, Tyson Strachan and Jonathan Matsumoto were all returned to San Antonio. No lineup changes are expected today.

Injuries

  • F Scottie Upshall (core), 2/1, 6 to 8 weeks
  • F Marco Sturm (lower body), 2/2 unknown
  • D Dmitry Kulikov (knee), 1/21, 6 to 8 weeks
  • F John Madden (lower body), 2/17, 2 weeks
  • F Matt Bradley (concussion), 2/19, indefinitely

Possible Scratches

  • F Marcel Goc

Starting goaltenders:

Montreak backup Peter Budaj will be in for the Canadiens, while it is expected that Jose Theodore will start again for the Panthers.

Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Bergenheim-Kopecky-Samuelsson
  3. Wolski-Matthias-Skille
  4. Santorelli-Smithson-Barch
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Gudbranson-Jovanovski
  3. Weaver-Ellerby

UPDATE (4:41PM): Scott Clemmensen in net, per Steve Goldstein.