National Hockey League
Preview
Florida at Montreal
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 28, 2015
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

The Florida Panthers can make the final two games of their road trip even more interesting with a victory at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. The Panthers visit Ottawa (Sunday) and Boston (Tuesday), who both have a three-point edge on them for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, but first must take on the top team in the Atlantic Division. Florida knocked off Toronto 4-1 on Thursday while Montreal has dropped two straight (0-1-1) and needs two points to clinch a playoff spot.

The Panthers are 8-4-1 in their last 13 games and have won three of their last four to give themselves a chance at making the postseason for the first time since 2011-12. “We’re in playoff mode,” Florida goalie Roberto Luongo told reporters. “Every game is crucial. We believe in our team, and we’re going to keep playing away and see what happens.” Carey Price was rested in the 5-2 loss to Winnipeg and is expected to go after his 41st victory.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVA, CITY (Montreal), FSN Florida

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (34-26-14): Jonathan Huberdeau has goals in back-to-back games to take over the team lead in scoring (45 points) with Nick Bjugstad (43) expected out for a third straight contest due to a lower-body injury. No one has been hotter that Brandon Pirri, who has seven goals in his past seven games – three in the last two – and veteran Jaromir Jagr likes what he sees from his new team. “If we play our game, we are a tough team to beat,” said Jagr, who has four points in four games. “It’s up to us now.”

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (46-21-8): Montreal is only 5-5-3 in March and one of the reasons is a punchless power play, which converted only three times in 36 opportunities over the last 15 contests. Brendan Gallagher attempts to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games and add to his career-high total of 23. Max Pacioretty registered four points in four games to lead the team with 64 – one shy of his career-best in 2011-12 - and Tomas Plekanec has recorded seven in his last seven outings to tie for second on the team with 52.

OVERTIME

1. Montreal D P.K. Subban needs one goal to match his career high (14) in 2010-11 and one point to equal his personal best of 53 last season.

2. Luongo has allowed three goals on 73 shots in two games against Montreal this season, going 1-0-1.

3. The Canadiens lead the league in goals-against (2.19) and Florida is 25th in scoring (2.38).

PREDICTION: Canadiens 2, Panthers 1

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Florida 34-26-4-10 W1 18-11-0-7 16-15-4-3 5-3-0-2 29-23-4-8 14-6-3-1
Montreal 46-21-5-3 L2 24-8-3-2 22-13-2-1 2-1-0-0 44-20-5-3 14-8-1-2
Last Meeting
Florida Montreal
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/17/15 MON 3 FLA 2 43 22 0-4 25 41 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Florida A. Barkov 1
Montreal J. De La Rose 2
Goals Player  
Florida A. Barkov 1
Montreal J. De La Rose 1
Assists Player  
Florida N. Bjugstad 1
Montreal B. Prust 2
Saves Player  
Florida D. Ellis 22
Montreal D. Tokarski 41
Season
Total Points Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 46
Montreal M. Pacioretty 67
Goals Player  
Florida N. Bjugstad 24
Montreal M. Pacioretty 38
Assists Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 33
Montreal P. Subban 45
Saves Player  
Florida R. Luongo 1543
Montreal C. Price 1773
Quickchart Matchup
Florida Off vs  Montreal Def
2.38 GF
2.19 GA
30.8 Shots
30.6 Shots
33 PP
36 PK
Montreal Off vs  Florida Def
2.55 GF
2.59 GA
28.5 Shots
29.6 Shots
33 PP
43 PK