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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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Scoreboard
Local
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
ORL 94
UTA 101
Final
CLE 95
BRK 91
 
Final
BOS 114
MIN 98
Final
DET 100
TOR 110
 
Final
MIA 103
WAS 105
 
4th
MEM 83
CHI 92
 
4th
SAN 85
POR 84
 
Half
DEN 59
LAC 43
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
 
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
Final
MERC 67
COOK 46
 
Final
FLGC 83
FUR 78
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
Final
MTST 68
CHAT 58
 
Final
NDAK 78
DICKINSON 48
 
Final
LAMON 76
LSUALEX 71
 
Final
PRIN 77
LIP 55
 
Final
LAM 80
MLGN 53
 
2nd
MINN 92
SEAT 57
 
Final
LOYC 73
SUTAH 57
 
Final
SELA 81
WINT 71
 
Final
SILL 52
NO 56
 
2nd
MARQ 53
ALAAM 24
 
2nd
TTU 35
ARKPB 26
 
2nd
DEN 47
COLST 47
 
2nd
CREI 48
TXPA 31
 
1st
CAL 2
EWASH 5
 
1st
UTST 9
IDST 2
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
NJD 3
TAM 2
Final
OTT 6
ANA 2
 
Final
DET 1
NYI 2
3rd
WIN 2
BOS 1
 
2nd
CAL 0
DAL 1