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Tuesday, February 10th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (28-20-6-2) at Florida Panthers (18-23-11-3), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens ended play before the All-Star break on a winning note and hope to carry that momentum over tonight when they visit the Florida Panthers at the Office Depot Center.

Montreal will play a Florida club under new guidance, as assistant coach John Torchetti is now at the helm. General manager Rick Dudley relinquished coaching duties on Monday in an effort to focus solely on being the GM of the club.

In their final test prior to the break, the Habs' Michael Ryder tallied a third-period goal to lift the Habs past the New York Islanders, 2-1, at the Bell Centre. Mike Ribeiro also scored for the Canadiens, who have won three games in a row and four of the last five. Jose Theodore turned aside 27 shots for the win.

Montreal currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference at the All-Star break -- five ahead of the Isles and three back of Ottawa.

The Panthers ended the first half of the season with an overtime win in Phoenix. Olli Jokinen scored his second power-play goal of the game with 1:38 remaining in the extra session to lift Florida to an improbable 5-4 victory.

Juraj Kolnik scored a goal and set up another in a 28-second span late in the third to force overtime for the Panthers, who salvaged the finale of a three- game road trip and won for the first time in five games (1-3-1).

Mike Van Ryn scored the tying goal and assisted on the winner, while Eric Beaudoin also found the back of the net in the victory. Jokinen added an assist for a three-point night and Steve Shields finished with 24 saves.

The Panthers are currently nine points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Prior to this evening's game, Florida defenseman Lyle Odelein will be honored in a special on-ice ceremony for playing in his 1,000th regular-season NHL game in a January 31st game against the New York Islanders. Odelein played his first five seasons in the league with Montreal.

Florida is 1-0-1 in its last two meetings with the Canadiens overall, but are just 3-4-1 its last eight home tilts against Montreal.

02/10 12:04:36 ET


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