- WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
- WHERE: BB&T Center - Sunrise, FL
- ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, RDS, TSN2
- ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
- SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #GoHabsGo, #MONvsFLA, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
- ENEMY INTEL: Eyes On The Prize
- FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 1 of 4
- LAST MEETING: FLA 2, @MON 0 (Recap) - 3/19/2018
- NEXT MEETING: January 15, 2019
- PROJECTED STARTERS: Luongo (8-6-1 .905/ 3.00 1SO) vs Niemi (4-3-1 .876/ 4.14 0SO)
- PLAYER STATS: Florida / Montreal
Scouting Report (Courtesy of Stats LLC)
The Florida Panthers, set to play their first home game since Dec. 15, have received a break from the injury report.
Price had a 1.96 goals-against average in his great 2014-2015 season, but he hasn’t been quite the same since knee surgery the following year.
This season, Price is 15-10-4 with a 2.84 GAA. He will likely be replaced by his backup, Antti Niemi, who is 4-3-1 with a 4.14 GAA. Niemi’s save percentage is .876 compared to .904 for Price.
Florida, which is 4-0-1 in its past five games for its second-best five-game stretch of the season, is expected to start goalie Roberto Luongo (8-6-1, .905 save percentage, 3.00 GAA).
Friday will also mark the first time Canadiens forward Max Domi has played against the Panthers since he was suspended for the rest of the preseason schedule for punching Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
Luongo called Domi’s punch “gutless” and said the act won’t be forgotten.
Domi, though, didn’t want to discuss the matter when Montreal’s media asked him about it this week.
”All we are focused on is the game,” Domi said. “It’s a hockey game, and we’re focused on finding a way to get two points. We want to start this (three-game) road trip the right way.”
Trocheck, a 2017 All-Star, scored a combined total of 54 goals the past two years, never missing a game. His absence hurts the Panthers offensively but also defensively because of his speed and disruptive ability.
Bjugstad, who scored 19 goals in 82 games last season, is another major loss since he was a top-six forward in the Panthers lineup.
Without those two, the Panthers rely on four forwards primarily: Mike Hoffmanand Evgenii Dadonov, who share the team lead with 17 goals each; Jonathan Huberdeau, who tops Florida in assists (33) and points (42); and captain Aleksander Barkov, who is second with 36 points.
Domi has scored 14 goals and leads Montreal in assists (21) and points (35). Brendan Gallagher leads Montreal with 15 goals.
In other Canadiens news, defenseman Karl Alzner could return to the lineup after being called up from the American Hockey League’s Belleville franchise. He was promoted after defenseman David Schlemko was placed on injured reserve.
”I was a bit surprised when I got the call,” Alzner told the Montreal media. “But I’m happy. It’s a nice Christmas present.”
Friday in the Atlantic
- OTTAWA (15-18-4 34P) at New York Islanders (18-13-4 40P) 7:00 p.m
- TORONTO (25-10-2 52P) at Columbus (22-12-3 47P) 7:00 p.m
Idle: TBL (60P), BUF (47P), BOS (44P), DET (36P)
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