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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 15th (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (11-17-5) at Montreal Canadiens (20-11-3), 6 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Solid defense and goaltender allowed the Montreal Canadiens to pick up a victory on Saturday despite continued struggles by their offense.

The Habs hope to take some pressure off the back end on Sunday night when they play host to the Florida Panthers.

Montreal followed up a five-game win streak by getting shut out in a game versus the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, then dropped a 2-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers two nights later.

The Canadiens managed just a single goal last night against the New York Islanders, but it was enough thanks to Carey Price's second shutout of the season and 21st of his career, a 1-0 victory.

Max Pacioretty had the goal 1:51 into overtime, tapping a pass from David Desharnais past Evgeni Nabokov for his club-high 12th tally of the season.

"We shut it down pretty well. Both goalies were amazing, but in a game like that you just need one bounce and that is just what we got," said Pacioretty.

Montreal improved to 10-2-1 in its past 13 games overall and is three points back of Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division.

The Panthers open up a four-game road trip having won four of their past five, including two straight in a shootout. They got the best of Detroit in the tiebreaker on Tuesday before a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday.

The teams combined for seven goals in the shootout, with Tomas Kopecky following a Jason Chimera miss with a hard wrister to end the game in the 10th round.

"Obviously it feels good, especially to win the game and get that extra point," Kopecky said. "We need every point right now."

Dylan Olsen and Alex Barkov tallied in regulation for the Panthers, who got 23 saves from Scott Clemmensen. He got the start after Tim Thomas suffered an injury in practice on Thursday and could be in line to go again tonight seeing as Thomas was placed on injured reserve Saturday.

The Panthers improved to 4-4 in shootouts this season and hope to have created some momentum ahead of this swing as the club is just 4-10-2 on the road this season.

The play of the red-hot Olsen could also help Florida get things going on the road. The defenseman has three goals and three assists over a five-game point streak.

These two clubs have traded season series sweeps of the last two campaigns. The Panthers won all four meetings in 2011-12 before the Habs countered by claiming all three encounters last season.

The Panthers have lost six of their last nine in Montreal.

12/15 10:33:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
Final
IND 91
TOR 104
Final
DET 95
CLE 103
Final
MIA 102
MIL 109
Final
DAL 90
MEM 109
2nd
GSW 54
CHI 51
 
Half
LAL 57
WAS 46
 
Final
AKR 59
BST 47
 
Final
KSU 63
CMICH 53
 
Final
VCU 72
GWU 48
Final
TOL 70
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
Final
BGU 56
NILL 46
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
Final
VT 70
PITT 67
Final
LAS 53
STJOE 48
Final
TULA 55
TULSA 62
Final
UGA 70
VANDY 62
Final
KYST 59
WVU 65
Final
BUF 77
WMICH 71
 
Final
GEOR 53
XAV 66
Final
EVAN 89
INDST 78
 
Final
ORU 94
TABOR 53
 
Final
OKST 64
BAY 53
9:00pm Tonight
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
Final
ALA 50
UF 52
9:00pm Tonight
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
Final
ARK 69
TENN 64
 
Final
AUB 61
TEXAM 71
 
Final
UTST 56
WYO 44
Final
SDST 58
FRES 47
2nd
CALST 69
SDCHR 48
 
2nd
NEV 44
UNLV 46
 
1st
BSU 22
COLST 19
 
Final
PHI 4
ARI 3
Final
NYI 4
NYR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 3
Final
PIT 5
WIN 3
Final
MON 3
DAL 2
Final
FLA 4
DET 5
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
Final
NAS 4
COL 3
Final
CAL 4
BUF 1
 
3rd
EDM 1
MIN 1
 
2nd
VAN 0
ANA 2