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NHL Handicapper Free Play: Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers

12.29.2015     08:49 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Alex Smith blog entry.
Montreal at Florida O/U 5 
Recommendation: Florida -1.5 +200

The top two clubs in the Atlantic Division hook-up on Tuesday night as the Florida Panthers host the Montreal Canadiens. Things have spiraled out of control for Les Habitants, who had lost 11 of their last 13 games before a big 4-3 comeback shootout victory over rival Tampa Bay. Montreal has struggled at both ends of the ice with the offense scoring two or fewer goals in 12 of their last 14 contests. The injury to starting goalie Carey Price has forced the Habs to call upon rookie Mike Condon and backup Dustin Tokarski. Condon has lost seven of his last eight starts while Tokarski has dropped three of his last four. One bright spot for the Habs is that forward Brendan Gallagher could return to action soon. The 23-year-old has missed over a month of action with a pair of broken fingers that required surgery. As for the Panthers, they’ve won five straight games and are on a 10-3 run in December. They have been winning games with a balanced cast of offensive contributors led by Reilly Smith's 11 goals, along with 10 tallies from young defenseman Aaron Eckblad and veteran winger Jaromir Jagr. And veteran Roberto Luongo has been excellent going 7-3 in his last 10 starts with a 1.88 gaa and a .925 save pct. While the Canadiens have dominated this series going 7-2-1 in their last 10 meetings, this is a big shift of power within the division and a very important game for the Panthers. Montreal is in the second game of a back-to-back where they have lost three straight, and have lost in six consecutive games by two or more goals.

Tags: NHL Montreal Canadiens Florida Panthers Alex B. Smith

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