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GAME: Montreal Canadiens (13-12-3-1) at Florida Panthers (9-14-5-1).TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Florida Panthers look to snap their season-high, six-game winless streak when they meet the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in 2003-04.
Florida won consecutive games for the first time this season from Nov. 22-24, but has since gone winless in six contests (0-2-3-1).
The Panthers failed to to pick up a victory again Wednesday, skating to a 1-1 tie at home with the Boston Bruins. Florida last went winless in seven straight games from March 19-April 1 with an 0-6-1 skid.
Against Boston, Valeri Bure scored in the first period for Florida, but Ted Donato scored a short-handed goal with 9:08 left in the third period as the Bruins rallied for the tie.
Despite again failing to record a win, Panthers coach Rick Dudley thinks his team is moving in the right direction.
"We played hard and we played pretty ... smart," Dudley said. "From my perspective, you can see it getting better, a lot better."
Montreal continued its recent strong play with a 2-1 road win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday. The Canadiens have earned a point in six of their last seven games.
Montreal, which has missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, is eighth in the Eastern Conference and increased its lead over the ninth-place Rangers to three points.
"It was really high tempo and it felt like a playoff," said Montreal's Jose Theodore, who made 28 saves. "This is a team that we're going to battle to be in the playoffs, so every time we play them it's going to be a high-intensity game."