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Game Preview: Panthers (35-27-7) @ Canadiens (26-34-12)

The Canadiens will try to exact some revenge on the Panthers in their final meeting of the season

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

After getting blanked 5-0 by the Panthers in Sunrise earlier in the month, the Canadiens will try to exact some revenge on Florida in their last showdown of 2017-18, this time at the Bell Centre.

In the process, the Habs hope to put a dent in the Panthers' playoff hopes, as they currently sit one spot out of Wild Card position. The Cats have three games in hand on both Columbus and New Jersey, but are five points back from the final postseason ticket.

The Habs' last outing wasn't much different than their March 8 dance with the Panthers, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

Charlie Lindgren faced a career-high 49 shots and made a career-high 45 saves in the loss, and was pleased he was able to recover from what he considered to be a shakier performance in a 5-2 loss in Columbus last Monday.

"It feels good. The last game in Columbus, I wasn't necessarily happy with my effort. I wanted to come back and try to give the guys a good effort and try to battle as hard as I can," Lindgren said in Toronto. "That's the only guarantee I can have. I'm going to give it everything I've got every single night. That's what I tried to do."

Video: MTL Recap: Lindgren makes 45 saves in losing effort

As practice was beginning on Monday, the Canadiens announced they had reassigned Lindgren to the AHL's Laval Rocket. In his pregame press conference, head coach Claude Julien announced that Carey Price was 100% healthy, but that Antti Niemi would be getting the start against Florida.

The Panthers, meanwhile, are going to have to step up their game a notch if they hope to continue playing hockey through the spring. They have dropped two of their previous three decisions against non-playoff teams (Ottawa and Edmonton) and will need to make up ground before they run out of track.

If the Canadiens do beat the Panthers on Monday night, it would help ensure an even season series between the two teams. Montreal beat Florida 5-2 back in October before suffering shutout losses in December (2-0) and March (5-0).

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on TSN2 and RDS, and will be on the radio on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm.

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