Game Preview: Canadiens (36-37-6) vs. Panthers (45-25-9)
TV: RDS, SNE 7:30 p.m.
The Habs get a shot at payback for Saturday’s 4-3 loss in Sunrise, as they welcome the Panthers to the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
On Saturday night in Sunrise, the Canadiens built a three-goal lead only to watch the Panthers storm back to score four unanswered goals to win 4-3. Brendan Gallagher scored his 19th goal of the season in his return to the lineup from a lower-body injury. While netminder Mike Condon kicked aside 35 of the 39 shots he faced in the losing effort.
The Panthers meanwhile head to Montreal following a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leaf, extending their win streak to three games.
As Al Montoya got the nod against the Maple Leafs on Monday night, Montreal, Quebec native Roberto Luongo is expected to return to the blue paint at the Bell Centre. Luongo holds a 13-14-4 record in 35 career starts against his hometown team.
Between the pipes, the Habs 25-year-old rookie netminder will be called upon to start his career high 54th game of the season.
With regards to lineup changes, recent call-up John Scott will hit the ice for his first game in a Canadiens jersey on home ice against Florida. In addition, rookie defenseman Ryan Johnston will be suiting up for his first career NHL game. As a result, Stefan Matteau and Mike Brown will sit out Tuesday night’s clash as healthy scratches.
While the Habs sported a sparkling 4-0-1 record in the season series against the Panthers in 2014-15, Florida has come away victorious in all three previous matchups between the two teams this year.