(Sports Network) - After getting swept by Florida in the 2011-12 season
series, the Montreal Canadiens will try to return the favor when they visit
the Panthers for Sunday's test at BankAtlantic Center.
Florida went 4-0 against the Canadiens last season, but the Habs have taken
the first two of three scheduled encounters in 2013.
Montreal earned a 4-1 home win over the Panthers on Jan. 22 and then posted a
1-0 overtime victory Feb. 14 at Sunrise. Rene Bourque scored the game winner
and the only goal of that February meeting at the 2:10 mark of overtime and
Carey Price turned aside 26 shots for the shutout.
The Canadiens have won three of their last five contests at Florida.
Montreal enters Sunday on a two-game win streak and has picked up victories
in three of its last four trips to the ice. The Canadiens played Saturday
evening in Tampa and earned a 4-3 comeback win against the Lightning.
Brendan Gallagher scored the game winner with just under eight minutes left in
the third, as the Habs used a three-goal final frame to earn two points at
Tampa Bay Times Forum. Montreal is still one point ahead of Boston for first
place in the Northeast Division.
Brian Gionta added a goal and an assist Saturday, while Tomas Plekanec and
Alexei Emelin each scored once for the Canadiens, who improved to 3-1 on a
five-game road trip and 8-2-2 as the guest this season.
"It's nice that we rallied late in the game, but we can't allow ourselves to
get in those holes in the first place," said Gionta.
Price posted 20 saves in the victory and he could get a fourth straight start
on Sunday. Price is 5-4-1 with a 1.88 goals against average in 10 career games
against the Panthers.
After closing out their road trip in Sunrise, the Canadiens are off until
Wednesday's home test against Ottawa.
Meanwhile, the Panthers, who sit last in the Eastern Conference with 20
points, have lost two straight and five of their last six games. Florida was
able to record a point in its most recent trip to the ice, losing a 3-2
overtime decision Friday against visiting Winnipeg. Dustin Byfuglien scored
the game winner for the Jets with 40.5 seconds left in OT.
Jonathan Huberdeau and Shawn Matthias each scored once, while Jacob Markstrom
allowed all three goals on 28 shots for the Panthers, who fell to 1-6 this
season in OT/shootout games.
"Overtime has been a real Achilles' heel for us," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen
admitted. "You lose five games at home in overtime, that's disappointing for
our players and for our fan base."
Florida is playing the middle test of a three-game homestand on Sunday before
closing it Tuesday against Tampa Bay. The Panthers are 4-5-5 at home after
dropping three of their last four in Sunrise.
The Sports Network