Preview: Panthers @ Blues, 12/1/15

Game #24
Florida Panthers (10-9-4 / 24 PTS) @ St. Louis Blues (15-6-3 / 33 PTS)
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 – 8:00 PM EST
Scottrade Center – St. Louis, MO

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg StLouis_Blues.svg
73 Pirri – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 20 Steen – 26 Stastny – 91 Tarasenko
11 Huberdeau – 27 Bjugstad – 18 Smith L2 15 Fabbri – 42 Backes – 10 Upshall
36 Jokinen – 21 Trocheck – 48 Shaw L3 56 Paajarvi – 12 Lehtera – 36 Brouwer
 42 Howden – 17 MacKenzie – 86 Brickley L4 Ott – 93 Gomez – 23 Jaskin
5Campbell – 44 Gudbranson D1 19 Bouwmeester – 27 Pietrangelo
33 Mitchell – 4 Olsen D2 22 Shattenkirk – 41 Bortuzzo
Kampfer – Ekblad D3 4 Gunnarson – 55 Parayko
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 34 Allen – 1 Elliot
Bolland, Thornton, Petrovic X Reaves, Brodziak
Kulikov, Savard, Hodges INJ Schwartz

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 8 10 18
2. Jussi Jokinen 6 11 17
3. Vincent Trocheck 7 7 14
4. Reilly Smith 6 7 13
5. Nick Bjugstad 7 5 12

St. Louis Blues

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Vladimir Tarasenko 14 10 24
2. Alexander Steen 9 12 21
3. Troy Brouwer 5 8 13
4. David Backes 5 7 12
5. Colton Parayko 5 7 12

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 8-8-3 .924 2.37

St. Louis Blues

Name Record Save % GAA
Jake Allen 11-4-2 .930 2.03

Between the Lines

The Panthers arrive in St. Louis having defeated the Detroit Red Wings in an overtime thriller by a score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon to kick off a 5-game road trip. Reilly Smith nearly gave the Panthers a lead about 30 seconds into the game after backhanding a shot from the slot into the net, but the goal was ruled to not be a goal as Jonathan Huberdeau was determined to have interfered with goaltender Peter Mrazek. There would be no scoring until the 2nd period when Aleksander Barkov had a rare turnover inside his own blueline, and Dylan Larkin made no mistake in putting it behind Roberto Luongo. Reilly Smith would finally get a goal after an Aaron Ekblad point shot deflected off of him at the front of the net to tie the game at 3. In overtime, the Panthers entered the offensive zone on an odd man rush, and Brian Campbell put home the game winner on a great pass from Jonathan Huberdeau.

Dmitry Kulikov practiced on Monday in a normal jersey with the rest of the team, however he is not expected to play in the game against the Blues on Tuesday. According to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel, Dave Bolland practiced on the 4th line with Quinton Howden, Derek MacKenzie, and Shawn Thornton with Connor Brickley moving up the the 3rd line with Vincent Trocheck and Logan Shaw. Jagr told Fialkov that he’s “a tad out of alignment” but will play Tuesday. Jagr left the game in the 3rd period on Friday against the Islanders after colliding with teammate Brandon Pirri but played Sunday without any noticeable issues. The Panthers have lost their last 6 games against the Blues and have not beaten them since October 31st of 2009 when they shut them out 4-0 in St. Louis.

The Blues enter Tuesday’s game as one of the best teams in the NHL and with arguably one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the league in Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko is 2nd in the league in goals with 14 and was drafted three spots above Nick Bjugstad at the 2010 NHL Draft. The Blues have not played since Saturday when they defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 at home. Tarasenko scored the first goal for St. Louis on the power play in the 2nd period and former Panther Scottie Upshall scored the tiebreaker at the beginning of the 3rd which served as the game-winner. Upshall has played in 18 games for the Blues this season and has 4 goals to go with 0 assists. Tuesday’s game will be the first time Upshall will face the Panthers since being released into the free agent market at the end of last season.

Last Game Played

The Panthers faced the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon for their 23rd game of the season and won 2-1 in overtime. You can find our recap by clicking here, and the NHL recap can be found below:

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