CANADIENS (19-13-5) at PANTHERS (15-14-6)
7 p.m. ET; FS-F, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV
The Montreal Canadiens will be without goalie Carey Price when they visit the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday.
Price, who made 23 saves in a 4-3 overtime win at the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, did not make the trip because of a lower-body injury. He was placed on injured reserve Thursday, retroactive to Saturday.
Goalie Antti Niemi, who has lost three straight (0-2-1), will start against his former team for Montreal, which will try for its third consecutive victory and eighth in 11 games (7-3-0).
The Panthers seek their third win in a row; they are 4-1-0 in their past five games following a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).
Players to watch
Canadiens center Phillip Danault has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past two games, including his first NHL hat trick Saturday.
Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past five games, including three multipoint games.
They said it
“He’s an experienced player. I know his last few games haven’t been his best, but we can also look at all the games before that since he’s been here last year. He’s been really good for us.” — Canadiens coach Claude Julien on goalie Antti Niemi
“We have to make up some ground if we want to put ourselves in the playoff picture. These are the games us as players look forward to playing in” — Panthers forward Mike Hoffman
Canadiens projected lineup
Tomas Tatar — Phillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin — Max Domi — Paul Byron
Artturi Lehkonen — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Andrew Shaw
Kenny Agostino — Michael Chaput — Nicolas Deslauriers
Victor Mete — Shea Weber
Mike Reilly — Jeff Petry
Brett Kulak — Jordie Benn
Scratched: Karl Alzner, Matthew Peca, Charles Hudon
Injured: Carey Price (lower body), Joel Armia (knee), David Schlemko (upper body)
Panthers projected lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau — Aleksander Barkov — Evgenii Dadonov
Frank Vatrano — Henrik Borgstrom — Mike Hoffman
Troy Brouwer — Jared McCann — Denis Malgin
Micheal Haley — Colton Sceviour — Jayce Hawryluk
Keith Yandle — Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson — MacKenzie Weegar
Bogdan Kiselevich — Mark Pysyk
Scratched: Alexander Petrovic, Juho Lammikko
Injured: Jamie McGinn (back), Derek MacKenzie (shoulder), Vincent Trocheck (ankle), Nick Bjugstad (upper body)
McNiven was recalled on an emergency basis from Laval of the American Hockey League on Thursday. … Alzner was recalled from Laval after defenseman David Schlemko was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Dec. 20, on Wednesday. … Armia practiced for a second straight day, though he is unlikely to return to the lineup during the trip. … Bjugstad has been wearing a no-contact jersey at practice.
Huberdeau has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past five games. … Byron has scored consecutive game-winning goals.