Preview: Devils @ Panthers, 4/11/15

New Jersey Devils (32-35-14) Florida Panthers (37-29-15)

It may be the final game of the season, but it also marks the first game preview here on Cats on the Prowl! Game 82 is upon us, and the Florida Panthers will take on the New Jersey Devils when the puck drops at 7:00 PM at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

At A Glance

Top 3 Scorers

Florida Panthers Goals Assists Points
Jonathan Huberdeau 14 39 53
Jussi Jokinen 8 35 43
Nick Bjugstad 24 19 43
New Jersey Devils Goals Assists Points
Adam Henrique 16 27 43
Mike Cammalleri 27 14 41
Patrik Elias 13 21 34

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers Record SV% GAA
Al Montoya 5-7-2 .888 3.08
New Jersey Devils Record SV% GAA
Cory Schneider 26-30-9 .926 2.25

Between The Lines

The Panthers are the league’s most improved team having gained 23 more points than last years total of 66, and some of this success can be attributed to trade deadline pickup and future hall of famer Jaromir Jagr. Jagr will be facing the Devils for the first time since the trade about a month and a half ago, a period during which he has totaled 16 points in 19 games. Both line mates of Jagr, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, have performed at a point-per-game pace since the former Devil’s arrival, and have lead the Panthers’ offense by dominating possession in the offensive zone. Florida has won 5 of their last 10 games while scoring 3 or more goals in the same amount of games. They are also 3rd in the NHL with 89 goals scored in the 2nd period with 17 of them coming in the last 10 games. The Cats are coming off a 4-2 win against Boston, a huge blow to the Bruins who are now 1 point out of a playoff spot with one game remaining.

The Panthers last faced the Devils in New Jersey on January 31st, a game in which backup goaltender Keith Kincaid backstopped the Devils to a 3-1 win despite the Cats thoroughly outshooting them 27-14. Jaromir Jagr got the scoring started, and the Panthers’ only goal came with less than 2 minutes left in the 3rd. The two teams also met back in October for the Panthers’ home opener, who were thoroughly dominated for most of the game. The Panthers’ only goal was scored by 4th liner Derek MacKenzie on the power play.

The Devils arrive for the final team this season in South Florida with only two wins in their last 11 games, and they’ve scored more than 2 goals only three times in that span. New Jersey is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss in Tampa on Thursday which included a two-goal night (his 3rd goal in two games) for former Panther Steve Bernier. Bernier and leading scorer Adam Henrique will be the two players to watch for the Panthers as both are coming off two-point nights against Tampa. The Devils will look to supress the top line of the Panthers consisting of Huberdeau, Barkov, and Jagr. Al Montoya will make his first start since sustaining a groin injury during the Panthers’ goalie fiasco against the Maple Leafs on March 3rd. Cory Schneider will be between the pipes for the Devils and will be looking for his first win since March 17th.

Fans can catch the game on Fox Sports Florida and MSG+ 2. Tonight will be Florida’s Fan Appreciation Night, and the team will be giving fans in attendance the chance to win over $50,000 worth of prizes, including autographed items, Fitbits, Beats by Dre, vacations, and more.

Last game vs. Devils

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