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Canadiens go for season sweep of Panthers

Saturday, 03.09.2013 / 11:56 PM

John Halligan - NHL.com Correspondent

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Canadiens go for season sweep of Panthers
Montréal Canadiens vs. Florida Panthers

CANADIENS (16-5-4) at PANTHERS (7-12-6)

TV: RDS, TSN-HABS; FS-Florida

Last 10: Montreal 6-1-3; Florida 3-5-2

Season series: The Canadiens are going for a sweep of the three-game series after winning 4-1 at home on Jan. 22 and 1-0 in overtime in their last visit to Sunrise on Feb. 14.

Big story: The best and worst of the Eastern Conference get together for the last time this season, with the Canadiens looking for their fourth win of a five-game road trip -- their loss to the Islanders on Tuesday was their only regulation defeat in 14 games. The Panthers continue to struggle; they followed a poor effort in a 7-1 loss at Washington on Thursday with a better performance on Friday against Winnipeg, but still wound up losing 3-2 in overtime.

Team Scope:

Canadiens: Montreal was awful in the second period at Tampa Bay on Saturday night, allowing 11 shots and three goals in the final 14:30 to fall behind 3-1 after two periods. But the Canadiens completely dominated the final 20 minutes, outshooting the Lightning 13-2 and scoring three times to pull out a 4-3 victory. Brendan Gallagher's seventh of the season was the game-winner.

"This is what good teams are supposed to do," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "That showed a lot of character from the players, coming back and finding a way to win this hockey game."

Panthers: The good news for Florida was that after a bad start against Winnipeg, it dominated play for most of the last 50 minutes. The bad news for the Panthers is that they still can't win in overtime -- especially at home. The 3-2 OT loss to the Jets was Florida's fifth in as many overtime games this season. Four of the overtime losses as well as the Panthers' lone shootout loss have come in front of the home fans.

"Losing five overtime points at home is tough. It leaves a little sting," coach Kevin Dineen said. "You lose five games at home in overtime is disappointing for our players and for our fan base. The game had some tempo to it. Not to finish it and push it to the next level is disappointing."

Who's hot: Tomas Plekanec scored Montreal's first goal on Saturday. He has scored in three of his past four games and leads the team with 11. Rookie Brendan Gallagher had the game-winner against the Lightning and has five points in his past five games. … Panthers rookie Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 12th goal of the season and fourth in four games on Friday night. He leads all rookies in goals.

Injury report: Montreal is without defenseman Raphael Diaz and forward Rene Bourque due to concussions. Defenseman Yannick Weber is out with a knee injury. … Florida has been riddled with injuries; the list includes No. 1 goaltender Jose Theodore (groin), center Stephen Weiss (wrist surgery), forward Scottie Upshall (lower body) and defensemen Dmitry Kulikov (hand), Mike Weaver (lower body) and Ed Jovanovski (knee).

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '13 MTL 5 at FLA 2 B. Gionta
Feb 14 '13 MTL 1 at FLA 0 - OT R. Bourque
Jan 22 '13 FLA 1 at MTL 4 A. Markov
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Ryder2681523+41042
M. Pacioretty2281321+51820
T. Plekanec2611718+31841
P. Subban2061218+41240
A. Markov2651217+0853
B. Gionta269716+2441
D. Desharnais268816-21812
B. Gallagher227815+92103
L. Eller2431114+52011
A. Galchenyuk2631013+71001
R. Diaz1911213+5400
R. Bourque175510+02421
A. Emelin262810+41500
B. Prust25459+138101
F. Bouillon26167+2800
E. Cole19336+11002
J. Gorges26246+51300
T. Moen25224-21600
C. Armstrong26033-2800
T. Kaberle10033+4000
R. White18101+15000
G. Pateryn2000+0000
Y. Weber2000-1200
G. Dumont2000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Price2013-4-3485352.37.910
P. Budaj64-1-1151552.47.903
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Huberdeau2612517-31011
T. Fleischmann2651217-121211
T. Kopecky2610616-82630
B. Campbell2661016-171252
P. Mueller266612-21010
D. Shore242911-21210
S. Matthias26729+3601
J. Skille24358+1600
M. Goc20268-11410
M. Weaver19167-3600
D. Kulikov20077-31000
A. Kovalev14235-1611
J. Smithson24134-4800
F. Kuba24134-111200
S. Weiss17134-132510
E. Gudbranson17044-12800
K. Versteeg9123-8800
G. Parros24112-82900
T. Strachan21022-82700
M. Santorelli13101-7200
S. Upshall8101-41510
C. Robak8011+0000
E. Jovanovski5011-2000
K. Ellerby9000-23600
N. Yonkman5000+01100
J. Rheault3000+2000
M. Caruso2000-1000
S. Timmins1000+0200
Q. Howden1000-3000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Theodore154-6-3423913.29.893
S. Clemmensen112-3-2362444.28.852
J. Markstrom61-4-1171703.34.900