SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers discover themselves in dire straights heading into the thirtieth sport of the season.
Simply six months faraway from ending what was a traditionally dominant 2021-22 season, the Panthers are nearing bottom-10 territory.
And that is coming after Florida despatched its 2023 first-round decide to the Montreal Canadiens to amass Ben Chiarot for the staff’s all-in chase for the Stanley Cup.
These Canadiens, who completed with the league’s worst file final 12 months, now sit forward of the Panthers within the standings.
Florida has an opportunity to get itself again into the playoff race with a date with one of many lone groups under them within the standings, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After all, this can be a Blue Jackets staff that beat the Panthers of their final assembly on Nov. 20 and one which has been on a two-game successful streak since Tage Thompson scored six targets on them in a 9-4 thrashing by Buffalo on Dec. 7.
They don’t seem to be to be taken evenly — particularly by a Panthers staff that’s 3-4-0 towards the underside six groups within the league this season.
“We put 96 pictures makes an attempt up [the last time we played Columbus] however a complete lot of them had been blocked so the site visitors to the web was possibly missing,” Florida coach Paul Maurice mentioned.
”That was a sport the place I believe there have been performs to be made that we most likely overshot the puck however you gotta watch out with that as a result of if you pull again too arduous, you’re going to see a heck of a number of what occurred the final two nights the place you could have the puck rather a lot however don’t get to the web sufficient to trigger chaos.”
PANTHERS INJURY UPDATES
- Radko Gudas skated for the primary time since sustaining a concussion on Dec. 3. He was in a yellow non-contact jersey and was dominated out for Tuesday’s matchup however might return in both of Florida’s subsequent two video games.
- Spencer Knight skated for the primary time since leaving Dec. 6’s sport in Winnipeg with an sickness however is not going to gown for the Panthers on Thursday. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod in internet.
- Anton Lundell (sickness) is out tonight with no timetable given for his return.
PANTHERS ON DECK
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 16 Sasha Barkov // 6 Colin White
21 Nick Cousins // 12 Eric Staal // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 71 Chris Tierney // 22 Zac Dalpe
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
62 Brandon Montour // 18 Marc Staal
28 Josh Mahura // 3 Matt Kiersted
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
34 Alex Lyon
Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Radko Gudas (concussion), Anton Lundell (sickness), Spencer Knight (sickness)
PROJECTED COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS LINEUP
13 Johnny Gaudreau // 38 Boone Jenner // 14 Gustav Nyquist
59 Yegor Chinakhov // 96 Jack Roslovic // 29 Patrik Laine
91 Kent Johnson // 34 Cole Sillinger // 86 Kirill Marchenko
50 Eric Robinson // 7 Sean Kuraly // 24 Mathieu Olivier
4 Vladislav Gavrikov // 47 Marcus Bjork
75 Tim Berni // 44 Erik Gudbranson
23 Jake Christiansen // 2 Andrew Peeke
90 Elvis Merzlikins
40 Daniil Tarasov