The Montreal Canadiens will be vying for their first 3 game winning streak tonight in Sunrise Florida against the struggling Panthers who have won only three of their previous 14 games. The Panthers have surrendered four goals in each of their last four games and that never bodes well for a team ranked 20th in average goals per game.
The Panthers lost their previous game to the division rival Capitals 4-1 on Monday night. Alex Auld was in goal for the loss, and it is believed that Ed Belfour will get the start in goal. Belfour is 14-10-3 all time versus the Canadiens with 2 career shutouts. Two hundred feet away, David Aebischer will be in goal for the Canadiens who was pulled in his most recent start allowing 4 goals on 28 Maple Leafs shots. Aebischer has only played the Panthers once in his career and was credited with the loss allowing 3 goals on 16 shots.
The Panthers and Canadiens enter tonight’s game with a 21.8 power play efficiency which is second only to the San Jose Sharks. The penalty kill is a different story as the Canadiens have the 4th best in the league while the Panthers are ranked 26th overall.
Guillaume Latendresse will seek to extend his four game point streak tonight, that has seen him score 4 goals and add 1 assist since being bumped to the 1st line, after Chris Higgins was struck with a high ankle injury.
1. The Florida Panthers have an all time winning record against the Canadiens, but the Canadiens are just 2 victories away from equalizing the record.
2. Saku Koivu had seven points in 3 games against Florida last year and has averaged over a point per game during his career against the Cats.
3. Last season the Canadiens outscored the Panthers 5-2 in the first period but it was a reversal of fortunes in the third as the Panthers outscored the Habs 5-2, thankfully for the Canadiens a pair of overtime winners gave the Canadiens two of the new NHL’s extra points.