Preview: Blue Jackets @ Panthers, 12/27/15

Game #36
 Columbus Blue Jackets (13-21-3 / 26 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (19-12-4 / 42 PTS)
Sunday, December 27th, 2015 – 6:00 PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 38 Jenner – 19 Johansen – 71 Bourque
36 Jokinen – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 11 Calvert – 17 Dubinsky – 13 Atkinson
73 Pirri – 17 MacKenzie – 48 Shaw L3 20 Saad – 41 Wennberg – 43 Hartnell
42 Howden – 53 Knight – 86 Brickley L4 Campbell – 25 Karlsson – 21 Clarkson
5Campbell – 33 Mitchell D1 Johnson – 27 Murray
44 Gudbranson – 6 Petrovic D2 51 Tyutin – 47 Prout
Kulikov – Ekblad D3 44 Falk – 2 Bodnarchuk
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 30 McElhinney – 70 Korpisalo
Thornton X Foligno, Rychel, Savard
Bjugstad, Savard, Hodges INJ Boll, Goloubef, Hannikainen, Tyutin

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 10 15 25
2. Jussi Jokinen 7 16 23
3. Vincent Trocheck 10 11 21
4. Jonathan Huberdeau 4 17 21
5. Reilly Smith 11 8 19

Columbus Blue Jackets

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Scott Hartnell 13 13 26
2. Brandon Saad 12 11 23
3. Ryan Johansen 6 17 23
4. Cam Atkinson 10 11 21
5. Boone Jenner 13 7 20

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 14-11-3 .925 2.21

Columbus Blue Jackets

Name Record Save % GAA
Curtis McElhinney 1-5-2 .883 3.33

Between the Lines

The Panthers will return from the 4-day holiday break to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in game 3 of their 6-game homestand at the BB&T Center. Florida defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday for their 5th straight win. Corban Knight scored the lone regulation goal for the Panthers while Aleksander Barkov scored his 4th straight shootout deciding goal. They’ve now won 11 of their last 14 games dating back to November 27th when they defeated the New York Islanders in a shootout at home. Nick Bjugstad wore a no-contact jersey at practice on Saturday and participated with the team briefly during the session. We learned several days ago that Bjugstad is aiming to return to the lineup on December 29th or January 2nd, although Gerard Gallant said today that their is “no timetable” for his return, so it’s possible that there’s been a setback. Jonathan Huberdeau left practice early on Saturday with a minor injury and is said to be fine.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have won just 3 games since facing the Panthers on December 4th. They lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday 5-2 due in part to the 3 power play goals they allowed, two of which were scored by Steven Stamkos. Joonas Korpisalo started in the first game of their back-to-back, so it’s likely that Curtis McElhinney will get the start, although Sergei Bobrovsky is very close to returning from a groin injury.

Last Game Played

The Panthers faced the Senators on Tuesday for their 35th game of the season and won 2-1. You can find our recap by clicking here, and the NHL recap can be found below:

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