GAME: Montreal Canadiens (13-12-3-1) at Florida Panthers (9-14-5-1).
TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Florida Panthers look to snap their season-high, six-game winless streak
when they meet the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in 2003-04.
Florida won consecutive games for the first time this season from Nov.
22-24, but has since gone winless in six contests (0-2-3-1).
The Panthers failed to to pick up a victory again Wednesday, skating to a
1-1 tie at home with the Boston Bruins. Florida last went winless in seven
straight games from March 19-April 1 with an 0-6-1 skid.
Against Boston, Valeri Bure scored in the first period for Florida, but Ted
Donato scored a short-handed goal with 9:08 left in the third period as the
Bruins rallied for the tie.
Despite again failing to record a win, Panthers coach Rick Dudley thinks his
team is moving in the right direction.
"We played hard and we played pretty ... smart," Dudley said. "From my
perspective, you can see it getting better, a lot better."
Montreal continued its recent strong play with a 2-1 road win over the New
York Rangers on Wednesday. The Canadiens have earned a point in six of their
last seven games.
Jan Bulis assisted on Mike Ribeiro's goal in the first period, then snapped
a 1-1 tie with a goal at 6:12 of the third period to give the Canadiens the
Montreal, which has missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, is
eighth in the Eastern Conference and increased its lead over the ninth-place
Rangers to three points.
"It was really high tempo and it felt like a playoff," said Montreal's
Jose Theodore, who made 28 saves. "This is a team that we're going to battle
to be in the playoffs, so every time we play them it's going to be a