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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (23-13-3) at Florida Panthers (14-20-5), 5 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Things have started to go south for the Florida Panthers following their best stretch of hockey this season.

The Panthers hope to avoid a fourth loss in a row on Sunday evening as they play host to the Montreal Canadiens.

Florida's current skid follows a season-high five-game winning streak that included a 2-1 win at Montreal on Dec. 15. The Panthers had their run stopped with a setback in Winnipeg on Dec. 20 and have since opened a five-game homestand with losses to Tampa Bay and Detroit.

The Panthers bested the Red Wings in the first two meetings this season before getting dealt a 4-3 setback on Saturday night. Sean Bergenheim scored twice, his second making it a one-goal game 4:27 into the third period.

Florida, though, failed to score on a pair of power plays in the final frame.

"I think disappointment is what's on everyone's mind right now," said Bergenheim. "I think we had chances."

Nick Bjugstad also scored and Scott Clemmensen made 27 saves for the Panthers.

Clemmensen posted 17 saves in the recent win over the Canadiens, which came after Montreal won all three encounters last season. Jesse Winchester and Bjugstad had the goals.

Tim Thomas is likely to get the call in net on Sunday for the Panthers. He was activated off injured reserve this week following a groin injury.

Thomas is 14-15-4 with a 2.82 goals against average lifetime versus the Habs.

Peter Budaj will start in net for the Canadiens, his second appearance this season versus the Panthers. He made 23 saves in the loss on Dec. 15, falling to 1-4-1 with a 2.43 GAA in his career versus the Panthers.

No. 1 Carey Price made 23 saves and was perfect in the shootout in last night's 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lars Eller had the lone goal in the tiebreaker.

In the opening round, Eller faked back to the forehand before snapping the puck past Ben Bishop and Price followed with stops on Nikita Kucherov and Teddy Purcell for the win.

"I tried to make a move lateral and get it high and get it in," said Eller. "If we keep practicing, and keep putting hard work into the games, we'll keep things going in the right direction."

Tomas Plekanec scored the only goal in regulation for the Canadiens, who have won three of four and will play the fourth contest of a six-game road trip on Sunday. They moved within a point of Tampa Bay for second place in the Atlantic Division.

12/29 10:23:00 ET

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Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
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CHI
WAS
 
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DEN
MIL
 
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TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
Final
ISU 77
OKLA 70
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
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9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
 
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KU
WVU
 
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
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Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SJS 4
MON 0
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NAS
 
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CLB
WAS
 
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BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
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MIN
OTT
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
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ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
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10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS