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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Panthers

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (23-11-2) @ PANTHERS (16-9-8)

After registering a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Canadiens will be looking to extend their winning streak to four games on Tuesday night in South Florida.

Carey Price was brilliant once again on Monday night, turning aside 28 of 29 shots against in the Canadiens’ first outing following the NHL’s Christmas break.

The trio of Jiri Sekac, Lars Eller and Brandon Prust led the charge against Carolina, as both Europeans lit the lamp while Prust dropped the gloves early on in the tilt.

Michel Therrien will make a number of changes to his roster on Tuesday night as Michael Bournival returns to the lineup against the Panthers. Manny Malhotra will be a healthy scratch while Dustin Tokarski gets the start in goal in Sunrise.

For their part, the Panthers are playing good hockey as of late. They boast a 6-2-2 record in their last 10 games, trailing the Bruins by just one point for fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Interestingly enough, Florida has also played four less games than Boston.

Roberto Luongo has returned to form between the pipes, boasting a 2.36 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. His 14 victories rank him 15th in the league in that category.

Up front, centerman Nick Bjugstad is leading the team in with 12 goals and 20 points.

Aaron Ekblad, who was selected first overall in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, ranks third among all rookies in points and leads all rookie defensemen in that department, too.

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