A lot has changed for the Florida Panthers since the last time we saw them hit the ice in Anaheim.
Florida is in Montreal tonight, playing its first game in almost a week.
The Panthers will be without Aaron Ekblad — who got hurt on his first shift in Anaheim — but will have newcomers Claude Giroux, Ben Chiarot and Robert Hagg in the lineup on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
Ryan Lomberg and Patric Hornqvist also return tonight.
The Canadiens, who have been playing better since Martin St. Louis took over behind the bench, have lost three of their past four.
“They are playing really well right now and they have nothing to lose,” coach Andrew Brunette said. “Those are scary teams this time of year.”
Florida ended up going 2-1-1 on its four-game road trip — which technically is a seven-game roadtrip which continues tonight.
The Panthers have been home all week which has allowed the team to not only get through the trade deadline, but have their new players join in for a few practices as well.
Save for Chiarot, of course.
Because he is a Canadian who was playing for a Canadian — in this case, the Canadiens — team, he needed to get a U.S. work visa and work through other immigration issues. That usually takes a week.
So, he stayed in Montreal following the trade and met his new teammates last night.
He is expected to take part in the morning skate today at Bell Center and be in the lineup against his old teammates.
Florida will be without rookie center Anton Lundell for this road trip as well. Brunette said while Lundell has been cleared of his lower-body injury which has cost him the past few games, he has been dealing with an illness and would not travel to Canada.
UP NEXT FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHERS
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT MONTREAL CANADIENS
- When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Bell Center, Montreal
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560, SiriusXM
- Draft Kings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-260); Puck line (-1.5, -110); Over/Under 6.5 (-110/-110)
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 49-48, 6 ties
- Season series — Florida leads 1-0: @Florida 5, Montreal 2 (Jan. 1)
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 28 Claude Giroux
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 9 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair
17 Mason Marchment // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 55 Noel Acciari // 70 Patric Hornqvist
8 Ben Chiarot // 52 MacKenzie Weegar
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
18 Robert Hagg // 62 Brandon Montour
30 Spencer Knight
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Scratched: Maxim Mamin, Petteri Lindbohm, Joe Thornton, Lucas Carlsson
Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Jonas Johansson (IR), Anton Lundell (ill), Aaron Ekblad (LTIR)
PROJECTED MONTREAL CANADIENS LINEUP
22 Cole Caufield // 14 Nick Suzuki // 17 Josh Anderson
68 Mike Hoffman // 32 Rem Pitlick // 45 Laurent Dauphin
92 Jonathan Drouin // 28 Christian Dvorak // 40 Joel Armia
55 Michael Pezzetta // 71 Jake Evans // 41 Paul Byron
44 Joel Edmundson // 26 Jeff Petry
27 Alexander Romanov // 58 David Savard
64 Corey Schueneman // 20 Chris Wideman
35 Sam Montembeault
34 Jake Allen
Montreal Canadiens lines courtesy DailyFaceoff.com