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Huberdeau's sister to sing Canada anthem in Florida

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau always gets excited for games against his hometown team, but there will be something even more special about the Montreal Canadiens' visit to BB&T?Center on Tuesday.

Huberdeau's 14-year-old sister, Josiane, will sing "O Canada" before the game.

She will then be among the approximately 85 friends and family members cheering on Huberdeau when the game begins.

"I?think it's going to be real exciting,"?Jonathan Huberdeau said. "It's like the perfect day. Hopefully I'm going to pull a good game out of me, but it should be a good night. To play against Montreal at Christmastime and my sister singing, that's the kind of night that's going to be memorable. I'm excited to play that game."

Huberdeau said his sister sang the anthem at one of his games during his time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and had been bugging him to ask if she could do the same before a Panthers game against a Canadian team.

"She likes to sing,"???he said. "She was asking me for two years and I???was like, I'm going to ask at some point and I felt like that was the right time. I'll be nervous, probably as much as her. Maybe more. She'll be fine. She's really good."

Huberdeau, whose hometown is the Montreal suburb of Saint-Jerome, grew up a Canadiens fan but attended Panthers games on an annual basis when his family drove down in an RV during the holidays.

Huberdeau's parents flew from Canada for this particular trip but have been sleeping in the RV to let Jonathan relax at his South Florida condo.

The 2013 winner of the Calder Trophy, Huberdeau has four goals and 11 assists in 30 games this season, and is coming off a one-goal, one-assist game in the Panthers' 6-4 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.

Huberdeau does not have a point in five games against Montreal.

After the morning skate, Huberdeau conducted interviews in French and English. His message about the meaning of the game Tuesday was the same in both languages.

"It is fun,"???he said. "All your family is here and you have the support. It's going to be a good game. It's always been fun playing against the team you were cheering for when you were young. I don't like them anymore. We've got to pull the two points out of there."

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