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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
NCSU 24
GASO 23
6:00pm Tonight
DUKE
ELON
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNC
LBRTY
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
8:00pm Tonight
ECU
NCCU
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
8th
STL 1
CHC 5
 
2nd
PIT 3
CIN 0
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
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CLE
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CWS
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PHI
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
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8:10pm Tonight
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8:15pm Tonight
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8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
9:05pm Tonight
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ANA
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SEA
WAS
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
 
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
2nd
UMASS 0
BC 6
 
2nd
NW 0
CAL 17
 
2nd
NEB 14
FATL 7
 
2nd
UMO 0
MARS 21
 
2nd
ND 14
RICE 7
 
2nd
MIZZ 21
SDST 7
 
2nd
ALA 10
WVU 3
 
1st
AUB 7
ARK 7
 
1st
STAN 7
UCD 0
 
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CLEM
6:00pm Tonight
UNC
LBRTY
6:00pm Tonight
KSU
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7:00pm Tonight
UF
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OKLA
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10:30pm Tonight
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HAW
WASH
6:00pm Tonight
DUKE
ELON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ECU
NCCU
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
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