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Game #39 - Canadiens @ Panthers Friday Dec. 31/10 - 5:00pm


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From nhl.com

CANADIENS (20-16-2) at PANTHERS (16-17-1)

TV -- RDS (HD), TSN-HABS (HD), FS-Florida (HD)

Last 10 -- Montreal 2-8-0; Florida 6-3-1

Season series -- It’s the second of four meetings this season. David Booth scored the decisive goal on a penalty shot, while Michael Frolik and Shawn Matthias also tallied for Florida in a 3-1 win in Montreal on Oct. 30. Tomas Vokoun added 40 saves.

Big story -- There was a time not long ago when a decent amount of separation existed between the top eight in the Eastern Conference and the rest of the teams in pursuit of a playoff spot. Thanks to the Canadiens' struggles of late, that gap has closed considerably. The ninth-place Hurricanes sit just four points back and will have three games in hand after Friday. Even the Panthers can close to within seven points of the Habs with a regulation win.

Team Scope:

Canadiens -- This is the finale of a seven-game road trip, and at this point it's safe to say Montreal can't wait to get back to the friendly confines of the Bell Centre, where it will play three in a row to start the new year. Friday's contest marks the 10th out of 15 in December on the road. The Canadiens are 1-5-0 on the current trip, including Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Lightning in which Max Pacioretty scored just 58 seconds in and the offense fell silent for the rest of the night against ex-Montreal farmhand Cedrick Desjardins, who was making his NHL debut.

"Things just fell apart, but we'll come out of this," rookie defenseman P.K. Subban said.

Panthers -- In traditional fashion, Florida will enter 2011 trying to make up ground on the teams ahead in the playoff race. The Panthers have been picking up points of late, going 3-1-1 in their last five. They let a valuable point slip away Monday to the visiting Bruins, however. Second-period goals by Booth and Mike Santorelli put them up one heading into the third, but Boston managed the tying goal and went on to drop Florida 3-2 in a shootout.

"We had opportunities at different points in the game to extend the one-goal lead to two, some point-blank chances," coach Peter DeBoer said, pointing to Bruins goalie Tim Thomas as the difference-maker. "And he either made a save or we just missed. You let a team like that hang around, that's what happens."

Who's hot -- Scott Gomez has 1 goal and 8 assists in his last eight games for the Canadiens. ... Stephen Weiss has 5 goals and 6 assists in his last nine games for the Panthers.

Injury report -- Knee injuries have sidelined Montreal defensemen Josh Gorges temporarily and Andrei Markov for the remainder of the season. ... Florida should have reinforcements Friday as forwards Rostislav Olesz, Cory Stillman and Radek Dvorak are all expected to be activated off injured reserve. Booth, however, is day-to-day with a hip injury.

Stat pack -- Canadiens defenseman James Wisniewski was a plus-1 in 21:48 of ice time in his debut with the team but saw the six-game points streak he had fashioned with the Islanders before being traded come to an end. ... The Panthers became the final team in the NHL to lose a game that went beyond regulation -- they had been 1-0 in overtime and 2-0 in shootouts before losing to the Bruins.

Puck drop -- It's become a bit of a tradition in the Sunshine State for Florida and Montreal to meet on New Year's Eve, and the Canadiens have had the upper hand in winning the last three such meetings. The Panthers want to end 2010 on a high note and silence the large contingent of Habs' supporters who show up for these games.

"We want to hear, 'Go Cats Go,' '' Matthias told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. "They're going to want to pay us back but we need these two points and can't let them come in here and steal them.''

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Hi Habs this is hrf. Do you guys think you could end this road trip from HE(double hockey sticks)LL on a winning note for us fans tonight? We would really appreciate it.

Looks like the Cats started ringing in the new year a little early.

Weeeee.gif

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terrrific game thread. Hopefully the Habs can match the work you put into this game thread and transform a pitiful road trip into a less pitiful road trip. Like ForeverHabs#10 mentioned, this team has serious issues.

No goal scoring, weak defending and average goaltending = nearly guaranteed loss. During last night's broadcast, RDS seemed to think that Carey would be starting today. So we'll see what happens.

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Terrific GDT Captain...to bad the teams sucking...I'll say no more....*not a happy camper with the team* <_<

Who knows,suppose its possible the habs can finish off 2010 with a win? <_<

Glad this road trip is coming to a end!!!!

:angry: Amen to that.

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If they don't i may take up drinking.

Try something new huh? :lol:

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You Captains may be in charge of the game thread tonight. I'm definitely a no show,,, and FS is questionable. Could be mayhem in here. :blink: Remind guys that suspensions can still be handed out later that night. When i get home i would prefer to sleep. :lol:

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can I have you're button? you know which one

Here ya go dude.BanButton.gif...sorry,I lost the directions to it.

You Captains may be in charge of the game thread tonight. I'm definitely a no show,,, and FS is questionable. Could be mayhem in here. :blink: Remind guys that suspensions can still be handed out later that night. When i get home i would prefer to sleep. :lol:

This ain't sounding good...all the wing nuts will run rapid. :mellow::lol: :lol:

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You Captains may be in charge of the game thread tonight. I'm definitely a no show,,, and FS is questionable. Could be mayhem in here. :blink: Remind guys that suspensions can still be handed out later that night. When i get home i would prefer to sleep. :lol:

Get CRB to do it on the phone :lol:.

I won't be here probably either. Many folks coming over starting with the WJC game.

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Please don't lose again.

I beg last game...and the one before...and before that.

Time for this team to head back home,and the sooner...the better.

Many folks coming over starting with the WJC game.

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Here ya go dude.BanButton.gif...sorry,I lost the directions to it.

This ain't sounding good...all the wing nuts will run rapid. :mellow::lol: :lol:

Most of the "wing nuts" have been dealt with. For the most part,,,everybody else in here is B)

There might still be a mod presence in the game thread today ( at least in intermissions). I'm just not certain of whom that may be. ;)

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Please start 2011 on the right foot,

Officially,we'll have to wait for the Sun, 2 Jan 2011 Thrashers vs Canadiens game to. ;) ...picky ain't I. :lol:

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I'm definitely a no show,,, and FS is questionable.

I won't be here probably either.

Won't be here so Happy new years eve everyone and hope you all have a good new year.

Party animals.

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