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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
NBA
Final
CLE 110
GSW 99
1st
PHO 22
OKC 11
 
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
Final
CITA 74
ETST 73
 
Final
GWEBB 91
CSOU 81
 
Final
VMI 82
CHAT 86
 
Final
BRY 77
CCST 69
 
Final
PBY 80
CCAR 69
 
Final
DREX 44
DEL 58
 
Final
UNCA 71
HIGH 75
 
Final
TEMPL 66
HOU 54
Final
EKENT 63
JVST 57
 
Final
WRST 58
UWMIL 61
 
Final
MSU 90
MINN 96
Final
RFLSH 63
MNTER 60
 
Final
OSU 81
NEB 57
Final
MAST 67
NEOM 73
 
Final
ELON 72
NE 65
 
Final
LIB 80
RAD 69
 
Final
FD 85
SHU 90
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 67
 
Final
LIU 69
Terriers 74
 
Final
TENN 65
VANDY 73
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 59
 
Final
FUR 53
WCU 49
 
Final
IUPUI 71
WILL 66
 
Final
CAMP 65
WINT 50
 
Final
MERC 72
WOFF 76
 
Final
APP 58
GSOUT 77
 
Final
UNT 81
CHAR 65
 
Final
MURST 65
EILL 57
 
Final
MARS 87
FIU 69
 
Final
WKENT 71
FATL 68
 
Final
ILLCH 67
UWGB 72
 
Final
ORU 74
NDST 58
 
Final
NDAK 75
NARZ 85
 
Final
RICE 54
ODU 63
 
Final
MON 60
RIDE 63
 
Final
PEAY 64
SIUE 61
 
Final
LATU 77
UTEP 60
Final
SMISS 70
TXSA 66
Final
TENST 52
TENNM 69
 
Final
CHIST 74
GRCN 70
 
Final
UMKC 69
WLVRN 50
 
Final
SALA 57
LAMON 75
 
Final
ARKST 81
TXARL 80
 
Final
ARKLR 92
UGST 83
 
Final
TXST 67
TROY 61
 
Final
COL 54
ARZ 82
 
2nd
PURD 88
RUTG 79
 
Final
MEM 57
SMU 66
 
Final
NCOL 77
SUTAH 64
 
Final
MORE 86
TENT 73
 
Final
EWASH 92
MNTST 68
 
2nd
PORT 43
BYU 42
 
2nd
CSNO 41
CSFU 46
 
2nd
IDAHO 28
MONT 36
 
2nd
SCU 32
PAC 36
 
2nd
UCSB 46
UCD 40
 
2nd
CPSL 38
UCI 52
 
1st
UTAH 28
ARST 9
 
1st
STAN 2
ORST 2
 
1st
GONZ 3
SDU 2
 
1st
USF 6
GAELS 13
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
LBSU
 
Final
NYR 4
ARI 3
Final
CLB 2
MON 5
Final
BUF 6
VAN 3
Final
FLA 0
CHI 3
Final
TOR 3
PHI 2
Final
WIN 1
STL 2
Final
NAS 2
MIN 4
 
1st Intermission
SJS 1
DET 0
 
1st
LOS 0
OTT 0