Preview: Panthers @ Predators, 12/3/15

Game #25
Florida Panthers (11-9-4 / 26 PTS) @ Nashville Predators (13-7-4 / 30 PTS)
Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 – 8:00 PM EST
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
73 Pirri – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 Forsberg – 63 Ribeiro – 15 Smith
11 Huberdeau – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 38 Arvidsson – 19 Jarnkrok – 18 Neal
36 Jokinen – 63 Bolland – 86 Brickley L3 11 Hodgson – 84 Sissons – 33 Wilson
 42 Howden – 17 MacKenzie – 22 Thornton L4 24 Nystrom – 16 Bass – 51 Watson
5Campbell – 44 Gudbranson D1 59 Josi – 6 Weber
33 Mitchell – 4 Olsen D2 14 Ekholm – 4 Ellis
Kampfer – Ekblad D3 5 Jackman – 3 Jones
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 35 Rinne – 30 Hutton
Petrovic, Shaw X Bourque, Fisher
Kulikov, Savard, Hodges INJ Salomaki, Gaustad

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

Nashville Predators

Player Goals Assists Points
1. James Neal 14 8 18
2. Filip Forsberg 5 11 16
3. Roman Josi 4 11 15
4. Mike Ribeiro 3 11 14
5. Shea Weber 6 7 13

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 9-8-3 .926 2.31

Nashville Predators

Name Record Save % GAA
Pekka Rinne 11-5-4 .910 2.33

Between the Lines

The Panthers will face the Nashville Predators on Thursday night after winning their third straight game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. Brandon Pirri scored the first goal of the game in the second period on a breakaway after a slow, defensive first period by for both teams. Derek MacKenzie quickly notched two goals for his first multi-goal game in 4 years, and that would be enough for the Panthers to walk away with the victory. The lone St. Louis goal came off a shot by David Backes that deflected off the leg of defenseman Dylan Olsen and behind an unassuming Roberto Luongo. The Panthers were strong defensively all night and gave a 60 minute effort which allowed them to get their first three-game winning streak since March of last season.

Nick Bjugstad missed the game on Tuesday after being sent back to Florida as a result of an upper body injury sustained during practice on Monday. The Panthers are being very quiet when it comes to specifics of the injury, although Gerard Gallant confirmed to the media today that it was not a back injury (Bjugstad had back surgery which forced him to miss the tail end of last season) and that he would be out for at least the next two games, meaning Thursday against the Blues and Friday against the Blue Jackets. Dmitry Kulikov is said to be “doubtful” for Thursday’s game, but is “likely” to play on Friday. Kulikov has missed 7 games since sustaining a leg injury against the Lightning on November 14th.

The Predators faced the Coyotes on Tuesday and defeated them by a score of 5-2. Filip Forsberg scored 2 goals and tallied one assist while Shea Weber added three assists to give the Predators just their 2nd win over their past 7 games. Mike Fisher will not play in Thurday’s game after leaving the Predator’s game early on Tuesday with a lower body injury. The Panthers have lost their last 2 meetings with the Predators and have just 3 wins in their past 10 meetings.

Last Game Played

The Panthers faced the Blues on Tuesday for their 24th game of the season and won 3-1 in overtime. You can find our recap by clicking here, and the NHL recap can be found below:

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