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Game Preview: Panthers @ Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

PANTHERS (34-26-14) @ CANADIENS (46-21-8)

The Canadiens will try to lock up a playoff spot when the Florida Panthers visit the Bell Centre on Saturday.

The Habs could have potentially punched their postseason tickets before even hitting the ice on Saturday, but following Boston's 4-2 matinee decision over the Rangers at TD Garden, Montreal now must win against Florida to clinch.

The Panthers meanwhile, are still in the hunt for a wild card spot, sitting just three points back of the Bruins and the Ottawa Senators.

The Habs will be looking to make the most of home ice advantage on Saturday after returning home from a brief two-game road trip with just one point in the bank.

On Thursday, the team fell 5-2 in Winnipeg despite firing 41 shots at Ondrej Pavelec. Brendan Gallagher also scored his 23rd goal of the season – and 45th point of the campaign – in the losing effort.

The Panthers on the other hand, are coming off a 4-1 win in Toronto and have now won three of their last four outings.

Roberto Luongo, who has started the last four games for the Panthers, should be back in goal again on Saturday.

He’ll face Carey Price, who gets another chance to zero in on the team’s all-time single season wins record (43).

Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed following practice on Saturday that Brian Flynn will be back in the lineup against the Panthers. Flynn skated alongside Lars Eller and Jacob De La Rose in place of Devante Smith-Pelly during the team's morning skate.

The Canadiens and Panthers last met just under two weeks ago, on March 17 in Sunrise. Dustin Tokarski notably made 41 saves to secure the 3-2 win on the road.

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