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5 Things To Watch: Dec. 29 vs Montreal

by Nathalie Sczublewski / Florida Panthers

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's meeting.

CANADIENS (23-13-3) at PANTHERS (14-20-5)

5:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM

SCORE STORM: Sunday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens will mark the second out of four meetings the Panthers face against the Habs. The first meeting took place on Dec. 15th at the Bell Centre as the Panthers won the game with a 2-1 victory with goals scored by Jesse Winchester and Nick Bjugstad. Panther’s goaltender, Scott Clemmensen, stopped 17 shots during this game. 

BRIEF HISTORY: The Montreal Canadiens have been in the NHL for over a hundred years and are part of the “Original Six” teams from the start of the NHL. The Florida Panthers celebrate 20 years being a part of the NHL but Florida has found success against one of the league’s pillars, posting a 35-26-6-8 record overall and 18-14-3-3 in Sunrise.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT: Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price has been strong in net this season and currently holds (18-11-2). He is tied for fifth in the league with 18 wins and ninth in save percentage with .932. In the Canadiens’ last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night, Price made 23 saves as Montreal won 2-1 in the shootout.

ROOKIES IN THE MIDDLE: Florida Panthers have had their fair share of rookies come through and current rookies Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov have been excellent in the middle for the Cats. Bjugstad has scored six goals in his last 14 games, including one to tie the game at two in the second against Detroit while the Finnish native and 18-year old is ranked tied for ninth among all NHL rookies with (6-11-17) and has five points in his last five games.

MAN ON FIRE: Montreal Left Winger, Max Pacioretty was voted by fans as the Bell Player of the Week from Dec. 17 to 23 due to his performance on the ice. During that week, the left winger had three goals and one assist. Pacioretty led the way for the Canadiens last regular season with (15-24-39). Fans will have to keep an eye out to see if Pacioretty will continue to keep up his performance during Sunday’s game.

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