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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, January 6th (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (16-20-6) at Montreal Canadiens (24-14-5), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Florida Panthers no doubt got an emotional lift from the return of captain Ed Jovanovski, rookie Aleksander Barkov is quietly putting together a solid run of his own.

The second overall pick of the 2013 draft will try to post the longest point streak by a rookie in franchise history on Monday night when the Panthers kick off a road trip against the Montreal Canadiens.

The 18-year-old Finn has posted a goal and five assists over a five-game point streak that matches Radek Dvorak's club mark for a first-year Panther. Dvorak had six goals and seven points over his run from Nov. 2-9, 1995.

Barkov has managed to post three goals and 11 points over his past 11 games, giving him seven goals and 21 points in 42 contests this season. He notched a pair of assists in Saturday's 5-4 shootout win over the Nashville Predators.

The big story was the return of Jovanovski, with the 37-year-old suiting up for the first time since March 16 of last season. The former first overall pick of the 1994 draft by Florida had been out since having a hip resurfacing procedure back on March 28.

Jovanovski was a plus-3 in Saturday's victory while logging just under 16 minutes of ice time.

"It felt good just being with the guys and being able to celebrate a goal," said Jovanovski. "We made it closer than we wanted to but found a way to come out with two points."

Nashville nearly spoiled the return by scoring twice in the final 5:08 of regulation, but Tomas Kopecky had the winner in the sixth round of the shootout.

Kopecky also scored in regulation and Brad Boyes and Marcel Goc both had a goal and an assist as Florida went 2-2-1 on a five-game homestand. The Panthers play their next three on the road.

Forward Scottie Upshall also returned to Florida's lineup after missing three games in a row with an upper-body injury, but defenseman Alex Petrovic left Saturday's win early with an undisclosed injury.

Tim Thomas, who made 38 saves versus the Predators, may get the call again tonight for the Panthers and it would give him a chance to even his career record versus the Canadiens.

Thomas has plenty of experience against Montreal due to his days with the Boston Bruins and is 14-15-4 against the club with a 2.82 goals against average and two shutouts in 35 meetings (33 starts).

The Canadiens are 1-0-2 in their past three games and are coming off a 4-3 overtime setback to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Montreal's P.K. Subban took a hooking penalty with 19 seconds left in regulation and Ottawa cashed in 58 ticks into the bonus period as Clarke MacArthur whipped a shot inside the near post.

Brian Gionta had a goal and Carey Price ended with 30 saves in a loss that featured Danny Briere's best game with the Habs since joining the club this past offseason as a free agent.

The 36-year-old had been a healthy scratch for Montreal's previous two games, but an upper-body injury to forward Ryan White put Briere back in the lineup and he responded with two goals and an assist.

"It was about time for me to help this team. When you have good feelings, something good usually happens," Briere said about his offensive output.

Briere notched his first points in 11 games and has seven goals and six assists in 30 contests this season.

The Panthers have already picked up a pair of victories this season over the Canadiens and have won six of the previous nine encounters overall. Florida has won four of its last six in Montreal.

Florida's Scott Clemmensen was in net for both victories, while Montreal backup Peter Budaj started the two setbacks.

Price may get the start tonight and is 5-4-1 lifetime versus the Panthers with a 1.88 GAA in 10 starts.

01/06 10:42:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
4th
TOR 109
DET 104
 
4th
SAN 101
MIL 95
 
Half
GSW 56
BOS 49
 
Half
DEN 59
WAS 59
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
HOU
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
 
2nd
MD 50
NW 57
 
Half
UTAH 37
WASH 30
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
2nd
CARTER 13
IRVIN 19