Preview Game #77

Florida vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – March 30, 2017 – 7:35pm

Lineup Changes

….D Jordie Benn and G Al Montoya out with injuries.   Torrey Mitchell will be a healthy scratch.  Brandon Davidson will be on third defense with Nathan Beaulieu.  Andreas Martinsen replaces Mitchell on the fourth line with Steve Ott and Dwight King.

….Goaltender Zach Fucale assigned to St. John’s (AHL). G Charlie Lindgren recalled from St. John’s to backup Carey Price who will start.

Season Records – Florida -76GP (33-32-11) 77pts. 6th in Atlantic Division. Canadiens – 76GP (43-24-9) 95pts. First in Atlantic Division & 7th in league.

Last Ten Games – Florida (4-6-0) Canadiens (6-3-1)

Last Time Out – Florida lost 3-2 in Toronto Thursday. Canadiens defeat Dallas 4-1 at home Thursday.

Home/Road – Florida on the road (15-15-8). Canadiens at Home (23-11-5)

Head to Head

….Season series – third of four meetings. Final meeting April 3rd at Sunrise. Each team is 1-0-1 with both winning overtime on the road. @Bell Centre Nov. 15th Florida-4 Canadiens-3 (Overtime) Aaron Ekblad scored the game winner. Pacioretty (PPG) Desharnais and Byron. Petrovic, Rau & Malgin for Florida. Luongo vs. Price. Canadiens outshot Florida 37-24. @Sunrise Dec. 29th Canadiens-3 Florida-2 (overtime). Phillip Danault with game winning goal. Pacioretty (PPG) & Gallagher. Demers and Trochek for Florida. Price vs. Reimer. Canadiens outshot Florida 41-33.

….Florida has earned at least a point in each of it’s last five appearances at the Bell Centre – 3-0-2.

About the Canadiens

….With 95 points, the Canadiens magic number for clinching a playoff berth is one. Either a loss by Tampa or a win by the Canadiens will put the Canadiens in the post season.

….All six of the Canadiens remaining games will be played against Atlantic Division teams, four of the six on the road. Vs. the Atlantic Division this season Montreal is 15-3-6.

….Over their last 13 home games the Canadiens are 5-6-2. Over that stretch they have scored 23 goals.

….In the 29 Bell Centre games since mid November the Canadiens are 13-11-5.

….Under Claude Julien the Canadiens record is 12-5-1. In the 18 games they have given up 38 goals, an average of 2.11 per game. In the final 18 games under Michel Therrien they allowed 57 goals, an average of 3.16 a game.

….Under Julien they are 5-4-1 at home and 7-1-0 on the road.

.Alex Galchenyuk has one goal in his last twelve games.

….In his last twelve games Andrei Markov has 2 goals, 7 assists. His next point will leave him alone in second place in Canadiens history in points by defenseman.

….Shea Weber scored his 12th power play of the season Saturday vs. Ottawa. Since NHL expansion in 1967, only one Canadiens defenceman has scored more – Sheldon Souray in 2006-2007 (19).

….Alexander Radulov has played two career games against Florida and has three assists.

….In 28 games vs. Florida Max Pacioretty has 6 goals and 20 points. Shea Weber in 15 games has 4 goals, 5 assists and Brendan Gallagher has 11 points (6g, 5a) in 16 games against them.

About the Panthers

….The Panthers have lost 13 of their last 18 games (5-12-1). Eight of the losses by one goal.

….They are 0-2 on their current four-game road trip. A combination of a Panthers loss to the Canadiens and a Bruins win or overtime loss to Dallas Thursday would eliminate them from the playoffs.

….Against Atlantic Division opposition this season the Panthers are 10-11-5.

….Last season the Panthers won the Atlantic Division with 103 points and 47 wins. The top three teams in the Atlantic Division last season were Florida, Tampa Bay & Detroit. All three are likely to miss this year’s playoffs.

….Jonathan Marchessault has scored 10 goals in his last eleven games and leads the Panthers with 29. He also leads the game win game-winning goals (6); power play goals (8) and power play points (17). He is on the first year of a two year contract extenstion at 1.5 million per season.

….Marchessault needs one goal to become the Panthers first 30-goal scorer in nine years (David Booth – 31 goals in 2008-2009)

….Jaromir Jagr has five points over his last five games (1g, 4a).  He scored his seventh power play goal of the season Tuesday vs. Toronto, his highest total since he had eight in 2011,

….Jagr is second all time in posts scored with 1909 (Gretzky 2857). He is also third all-time in goals with 764; fifth in assists (1146) and 4th all-time in games played (1704).

….Trade deadline acquisition Thomas Vanek has seven points (0g, 7a) in his last nine games.

….Keith Yandle will play in his 628th consecutive game, two shy of tying Andy Hebenton for the eighth all time. The streak began March 26, 2009.

Goaltending

….Over his 15 starts under Claude Julien, Carey Price is 11-4-0 with a 1.58GAA and .942 save percentage. In his final 15 games under Michel Therrien he was 5-9-1 with a 3.28GAA and .895 save percentage.

….Over his last 15 games Price has ranked second in the league in wins, goals-against average and save percentage (only the Blue Jackets Sergei Bobrovsky has been better in those categories).

….In those 15 starts Price has lowered his GAA average from 2.46 to 2.23 while his save percentage has gone up from .917 to .924.

….Career vs. Florida Price is 9-4-3 with a 1.85GAA, a .936 save% and two shutouts.

….In 58 games this season Price is 35-18-8 with a 2.24GAA and .923save%. Overall Price has moved up to 4th in the league in GAA, 5th in wins and 6th in save percentage.

….Roberto Luongo has been in 40 Florida games this season with a record of 17-15-6 with a 2.68GAA and .915save%.

….Luongo has been out of the Panthers lineup since March 2nd with a core injury. James Reimer started 13 of the last 14 games. He left Thursday night’s game in Toronto after taking an elbow to the head from Toronto’s Brian Boyle.

….Career vs. the Canadiens Luongo is 15-14-4 with a 2.48GAA and .921 save% and two shutouts in 37 appearances.

Special Teams

….Power play – Florida ranks 25th (42/249) 16.9% Canadiens rank 11th (44/28) 20.2%.

….Penalty Killing – Florida ranks first in league (33/230) 85.7%. Canadiens rank 19th (47/240) 80.4%.

….The Panthers have allowed only 33 power play goals. Only Carolina (2) has allowed fewer. They are 4th on the road in PK%.

….The last Canadiens forward to score a power play goal was Alex Galchenyuk in overtime Feb. 28th.  In March,  the Canadiens have scored three PPG’s in 27 opportunities over twelve games (11.1%). All three of them by defensemen and all against Ottawa – Nathan Beaulieu, Shea Weber and Andrei Markov.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

27-Alex Galchenyuk 65-Andrew Shaw 62-Artturi Lehkonen

41-Paul Byron -14-Tomas Plekanec 11-Brendan Gallagher

21-Dwight King 92-Steve Ott  37-Andreas Martinsen

79-Andrei Markov 6-Shea Weber

74-Alexei Emelin 26-Jeff Petry

28-Nathan Beaulieu  88-Brandon Davidson

31-Carey Price

Injuries – G Al Montoya (lower body); D Jordie Benn (day-to-day)

Scratches – C Mike McCarron; D Nikita Nesterov; C Torrey Mitchell ; C Brian Flynn;

Florida Line Combinations & Pairings

11-Jonathan Huberdeau 16-Aleksander Barkov 68-Jaromir Jagr

36-Jussi Jokinen 21-Vincent Trocheck 18-Reilly Smith

26-Thomas Vanek 27-Nick Bjugstad 81-Jonathan Marchessault

22-Shawn Thornton 17-Derek MacKenzie 7-Colton Sceviour

3-Keith Yandle 55-Jason Demers

19-Michael Matheson 6-Alex Petrovic

13-Mark Pysyk 46-Jakub Kindl

1-Roberto Luongo

20-Reto Berra

Injuries – G James Reimer (head); C Denis Malgin (concussion); G Roberto Luongo (lower body); D Aaron Ekblad (neck).

Scratches – C Michael Sgarbossa