Preview: Canadiens @ Panthers, 4/2/16

Game #78
 Montreal Canadiens (36-36-6 / 78 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (43-25-9 / 95 PTS)
Saturday, April 2nd, 2016 – 7:00PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Between the Lines

The Panthers will face the Canadiens on Saturday night before heading to Toronto on Monday. Florida is coming off a big 3-2 win over the Devils on Thursday night which included a two-goal performance by Jonathan Huberdeau and 1 goal from Aleksander Barkov. The Panthers were hit with 2 delay of game penalties after the 2nd and 3rd goals as rats given away to the first 10,000 fans upon entering the arena were thrown onto the ice. The bulk of the rats were thrown after the first goal by Huberdeau, however the referees warned the fans that if anymore rats were thrown, it would result in a penalty on the Panthers.

The rule was instituted after the Panthers’ 1995-96 season when Scott Mellanby killed a rat in the locker room with his stick at the old Miami Arena and then went on to score 2 goals that same night, and The Rat-Trick was born. Fans began throwing plastic rats onto the ice after ever Panther goal and the league was forced to create a rule to prevent it from delaying the game, however the team had never been penalized as a result of it until Thursday night.

Erik Gudbranson and Derek MacKenzie returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing 7 and 8 games respectively with foot injuries. Logan Shaw was sent down to the Portland Pirates of the AHL on Friday afternoon and will be eligible to play for them as they finish out the regular season and make a push for the playoffs. Vincent Trocheck remains sidelined for at least 3 more weeks with a fractured fibula sustained on Tuesday against the Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens are coming off a 3-0 win over the Lightning on Thursday night in which David Desharnais, Torrey Mitchell, and Phillip Danault each scored a goal in front of Mike Condon who made 26 saves. Brendan Gallagher and Daniel Carr are expected to return from injuries while Nathan Beaulieu will be out with a broken thumb sustained on Thursday.

The two teams last met on March 15th when the Panthers got goals from Trocheck, Bjugstad, Hudler, and Barkov to defeat the Canadiens 4-1.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 67 Pacioretty  – 27 Galchenyuk – 11 Gallagher
36 Jokinen – 27 Bjugstad – 18 Smith L2 81 Eller – 14 Plekanec – 17 Mitchell
26 Purcell – 23 Grimaldi – 24 Hudler L3 42 Andrighetto – 51 Desharnais– 41 Byron
42 Howden – 17 MacKenzie – 22 Thornton L4 43 Carr – 34 McCarron – 24 Danault
51 Campbell – 5 Ekblad D1 79 Markov – 74 Emelin
Kulikov – 44 Gudbranson D2 71 Hanley – 6 Pateryn
46 Kindl – Kampfer D3 36 Lernout – 44 Dietz
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 39 Condon – 35 Lindgren
Trocheck, Wilson, McKegg, Petrovic X Bartley, Barberio, Subban, Matteau, De La Rose, Lessio, Brown, Price, Scrivens
Mitchell, Bolland INJ Flynn, Gilbert, Petry, Beaulieu

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 25 36 61
2. Jussi Jokinen 17 41 58
3. Jonathan Huberdeau 18 36 54
4. Vincent Trocheck 25 28 53
5. Aleksander Barkov 24 27 51

Montreal Canadiens

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Max Pacioretty 27 30 57
2. Alex Galchenyuk 27 25 52
3. P.K. Subban 6 45 51
4. Tomas Plekanec 13 37 50
5. Andrei Markov 5 36 41

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 32-19-6 .921 2.37

Montreal Canadiens

Name Record Save % GAA
Mike Condon 20-23-6 .905 2.67
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