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FIGHT TO THE END: Panthers tie up Canadiens late, lose 2-1 in shootout ... Fleischmann returns to lineup ... Familiar faces everywhere

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards
The Panthers haven't been able to put a three game winning streak together all season.
It's one of the few things this team just hasn't been good at.
Tuesday night, in front of the largest home crowd of since last year, the Panthers again failed to get an elusive victory although they sure gave it everything they had.
Montreal, playing its annual home-away-from-home game at BB&T Center, watched the Panthers force overtime with a late Nick Bjugstad goal before winning 2-1 in a shootout.
The Panthers are winless in four games following their second straight win but the Canadiens are currently riding a four-game winning streak and have won three-plus games five times this season.
"You go on those streaks but truthfully I take it one game at a time,'' coach Gerard Gallant said Tuesday morning.
"I know we won our last game, but that's in the past. I'm moving forward. I couldn't tell you what our record is in the past 10. I don't worry about that.''
The Panthers once again had plenty of chances offensively just couldn't solve backup Dustin Tokarski until the clock had almost run out.
Down 1-0 with under two minutes left, goalie Roberto Luongo looked at the bench as if to come out to add another attacker.
Instead, Bjugstad broke into the Montreal offensive zone and hung a shot that zipped past Tokarski with 1:49 remaining in regulation.
It was the first goal since Montreal took a 1-0 lead late in the second period.
"We kind of struggled the whole game but we had our chances,'' Bjugstad said.
"We didn't have momentum from the get-go. It was nice to force a shootout but we didn't capitalize and that's what happens when you don't play 60 minutes. It was nice to get a point though. That's one of the better teams in the league.''
The Canadiens won at Carolina on Monday night with All-Star Carey Price in net but getting Montreal's backup didn't bring Florida any breaks.
Tokarski, playing for the first time since last month, made 33 saves before Bjugstad scored.
"They're a good team, but were playing back to back,'' Jonathan Huberdeau said. "At least we got a goal at the end to get a point. It would have been nice to get a win though.''
The two were scoreless throughout the first and second periods with Florida almost taking the initial lead when Aleksander Barkov rang a shot off the goal cage.
Moments later, Brendan Gallagher gave Montreal a 1-0 lead when his 30-foot shot hit Roberto Luongo and snuck through his skates with 1:06 left in the period.
Luongo made 33 saves against his hometown team but couldn't keep Florida's home winning run going. Florida is 6-0-2 in its past eight games in Sunrise.
The Panthers' four-game shootout winning streak also ended as Florida went 0-for-3 while Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored on Montreal's third offering.
Florida had a nice chance to win but Jimmy Hayes misfired on an empty net in the closing seconds of overtime.
The Panthers (5-5 in shootouts) get a chance to get going quickly as the Rangers come to town Wednesday evening.
Tomas Fleischmann was back in the Florida lineup after being scratched the previous two games after Tomas Kopecky came up with a minor injury during Sunday's win over Toronto.
Gallant said Kopecky has an upper body injury and is day-to-day. Brandon Pirri missed his second straight game.
Fleischmann has been scratched four times this season after leading the Panthers in scoring in 2011-12 and in 2013.
"The team is playing well and getting points with a healthy lineup,'' Fleischmann said. "I haven't played for a week but I feel good. Rested. .-.-. It's always nice to play in the games. I'm excited.''
Said Gallant: "I'm not disappointed with him but we have 14 forwards and have to sit two. Hopefully it will give him a jolt. You don't want to sit players but it's part of the job.''
-- There were a few familiar faces in the building Tuesday.
Defenseman Tom Gilbert spent last season with the Panthers and was in the starting lineup.
Former Florida defensemen Bryan Allen (2006-11) and Mike Weaver (2010-14) were healthy scratches for the Canadiens.
Allen was part of the original trade between the Panthers and Vancouver for Luongo in 2006.
Gallant spent the past two seasons on the Montreal coaching staff before coming to Florida this past summer.
"There are wonderful people over there,'' Gallant said.
-- Jacques Martin, who was either the Panthers' coach or general manager from 2004-09, watched Tuesday's game from the press box. Martin left the Panthers in 2009 to coach the Canadiens before being let go in 2011.
-- Al Montoya, who was picked sixth overall by the Rangers in the 2004 draft, is expected to start against New York on Wednesday.
Wednesday's game is the finale of Florida's fourth back-to-back set this season. The Panthers are 1-0-2 in the second game of back-to-backs so far this year.
Florida also has consecutive games next week in Vancouver and Calgary.
-- The announced crowd of 19,614 was Florida's largest of the season and biggest since the team announced 19,891 last year when the Canadiens made their New Year's visit.
Wednesday: Rangers at Panthers
When/Where: 6 p.m.; BB&T Center, Sunrise
TV/Radio: FSFL; WQAM 560
Series: New York leads 43-34-6
Noteworthy: New York, the defending Eastern Conference champs, has won 12 of its past 16 contests games including 10 of 13. The Rangers won all three games against Florida last year. This is New York's only game in Sunrise this season.