Game #77

Florida vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – March 27/2012 – 7:35pm


Game Notes –

……Scott Clemmensen will get the start in the Panthers goal, ignoring the fact that  Jose Theodore is 4-1-2 with a 1.66 goals-against average in his last seven starts.  Factoring into the Clemmensen decision is a 5-0-0 record with a career 1.65 GAA versus Montreal including a 4-2 win February 26th at Sunrise.

…….Since his trade in 2006, Theodore has made only one start in Montreal .  With Colorado, he gave up a career-high eight goals in the Avalanche 8-5 loss  Oct. 21, 2006.  Overall he is 2-2-1 with a 4.62GAA against the Canadiens.

……In Florida’s last trip to Montreal Oct. 24, the Panthers won 2-1, handing the Canadiens their season high sixth consecutive loss locking down their worst season start in 70 years.  They’ve never recovered.

……The Panthers have lost five of their last seven at the Bell Centre and have never swept a season series with the Habs.

…… Despite the loss against the Flyers Saturday the Canadiens are still above .500 in March (5-4-3).  That said, they have lost four of their last five.

……Following a season-high five-game winning streak, Florida has lost three in a row — all against non-playoff teams (Carolina, Edmonton and the New York Islanders).  Their next three games are also against non-playoff teams; the Canadiens, Minnesota and Columbus before wrapping up a four game road trip in Detroit.

…….There is a  chance Florida could miss the postseason altogether. With seven games left in their season, Florida can finish third in the Eastern Conference (In the Southeast Division they lead Washington by three points) or completely out of the playoffs.  If they fail to win the division, they’ll battle Buffalo for eighth place.  Buffalo is in ninth place in the East with the same number of points (84) and games played (76) as Washington.  The Sabres and Washington will be meeting tonight at the same time the Canadiens are hosting Florida.

…….Florida has scored four goals during their three game losing skid and only eight  in their last five overall.

…….Tomas Fleischmann, who leads Florida with 56 points, set a career high with his 24th goal of the season against the Isles.

…… Erik Cole needs one goal to set a career high at 31.  Including his Carolina totals, he has six goals and five assists in his last nine games versus Florida. In three games against the Panthers this season he  has two goals and an assist.

……If the Panthers fail to make the playoffs, they might point at their record in shootouts.  After Sunday’s loss to the Islanders, they are 5-10.    At 5-9 the Canadiens are marginally better.

…..With one third of their roster out with injuries (seven regulars), the Canadiens, in this game will reach a league leading 396 man-games lost due to injury and illness this season.   Thirty five times the Canadiens have had to make adjustments because of injuries involving twenty different players.   Scott Gomez has been out on four different occasions.  Only Josh Gorges and Erik Cole have played in all 76 games.  Max Pacioretty missed three games with a suspension.

The Cold Hard Stats –

Season Record – Florida (36-24-15) Canadiens (29-34-13)

Last Ten Games Florida 5-2-3 Montreal 4-3-3.

Season Series: Winners of the prior three meetings, the Panthers go for their first season sweep of the Canadiens.    –  @Bell Centre Oct. 24 – Florida-2   Canadiens-1.   Jacob Markstrom made 40 saves for his first NHL win and Scottie Upshall scored the winner in the third period. Tomas Fleischmann also scored for Florida.  Erik Cole for the Canadiens.  First time in team history they have failed to win one of their first five home games.    @Sunrise – Dec. 31 – Florida-3   Canadiens-2. An empty net goal turned out to the winner.  Tomas Fleischmann scored his second goal of the game with 41 seconds remaining and Carey Price on the bench.   With the Canadiens net still empty,  Erik Cole scored eleven seconds later.  Also Shawn Mathias for Florida.  Travis Moen scored the Canadiens lone goal. @Sunrise – Feb. 27 – Florida-4 Canadiens-2.   The Canadiens had a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of the game and then the Florida Panthers took it back.   It was the Canadiens sixth loss their previous seven games.  Stephen Weiss scored twice and added an assist.  Sean Bergenheim with a goal and two assists and Brian Campbell scored for Florida after David Desharnais and P.K. Subban had given the Canadiens their lead.

Last Time Out – Florida – Florida’s weekend featured a pair of shootout losses at home. After dropping a 2-1 decision to the Oilers on Friday, the Panthers lost to the Islanders 3-2 on Sunday.     The Canadiens were 4-1 losers in Philadelphia Saturday.

Special Teams – Power Play – Florida – ranked 11th – 18.6% (49/264)    Canadiens – ranked 27th – 14.8% (41/278).   Penalty Killing – Florida – ranked 24th  – 79.6%  (45/221)   Canadiens – ranked 2nd – 88.6% (33/281)

Home/Road –  Florida on the Road – (16-15-5)   Canadiens at Home – (14-15-9)

Goaltending – Florida –    Scott Clemmensen – 26GP (12-6-5) 2/75GAA  /907save%  1 shutout.   Canadiens – Carey Price 63GP (26-27-10)  2.42GAA  .917save%.

Who’s Hot: Florida – Stephen Weiss has three goals and four assists during a six-game point streak. Canadiens –

The MissingFlorida – RW-Jack Skille (IR-shoulder); RW-Matt Bradley (IR-concussion).      Canadiens – C-Brian Gionta (IR-biceps surgery); LW-Travis Moen (IR-upper body); LW-Mathieu Darche (IR-concussion), D-Raphael Diaz (IR-groin); C- Scott Gomez (IR-concussion); D-Yannick Weber (knee); D-Tomas Kaberle (upper body)

Panthers Starting Lineup:


Tomas Fleischmann – Stephen Weiss – Tomas Kopecky

Sean Bergenheim – Marcel Goc – Mikael Samuelsson

Wojtek Wolski – Shawn Matthias – Kris Versteeg

Marco Sturm – John Madden – Jerred Smithson


Jason Garrison – Brian Campbell

Dmitry Kulikov – Mike Weaver

Ed Jovanovski – Erik Gudbranson

Goal – Scott Clemmensson