The Florida Panthers look to finish out their season series against the Montreal Canadiens with a win, which would clinch the series against the Habs.
Florida lost their last game against the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 and in the process lost goaltender Roberto Luongo to an injury. Dan Ellis will start tonight, and recent call up Scott Clemmensen will be the backup.
In two starts against the Habs, however, Clemmensen is 2-0 and has stopped 38-of-40 shots. Ellis on the other hand has allowed 13-goals in eight periods played since being traded to the Panthers.
Montreal is currently fighting with the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division. They are led by Canadian Olympians P.K. Subban and Carey Price, as well as American Max Pacioretty who leads the team in goals.
All-time the Panthers own a 19-14-3-3 record at home against the Canadiens, and look to make it number 20 in their last matchup of the season.
Subban is the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman, catapulting himself as one of the league’s elite defenders. One of the more energy-charged personalities in league, and is one of the most dynamic players from the blueline.
Of all defenseman in the league, Subban has the fourth most points – as well as the fourth most assists. He also second on the team in time on ice on the team with just under 25-minutes per game.
Dan Ellis vs Canadiens Forwards
This matchup will determine the game, as if the Panthers have any chance to escape the game with a victory they will need Ellis to come up big against a loaded Montreal forward unit.
Along with the obvious sniper Pacioretty, the Canadiens have explosive forwards in Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, two sophomores who are avoiding the sophomore slump (outside of Galchenyuk’s injury) unlike Panther Jonathan Huberdeau.
The Panthers and Canadiens play at 7 pm ET. Follow The Rat Trick on Twitter @FANSIDEDTHERAT and follow me @AMurphyTRT