Preview: Blackhawks @ Panthers, 1/22/16

Game #47
Chicago Blackhawks (32-14-4 / 68 PTS) Florida Panthers (26-15-5 / 57 PTS)
Friday, January 22nd, 2016 – 7:30 PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Florida_Panthers.svg VS. ChicagoBlackhawksLogo.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 65 Shaw – 19 Toews – 81 Hossa
36 Jokinen – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 72 Panarin – 15 Anisimov – 88 Kane
53 Knight– 27 Bjugstad – 48 Shaw L3 86 Teravainen – 48 Danault – 11 Desjardins
42 Howden – 17 MacKenzie – 22 Thornton L4 53 Mashinter – 70 Rasmussen – 46 Sekac
51 Campbell 44 Gudbranson D1 4 Hjalmarsson – 2 Keith
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D2 7 Seabrook – 57 Van Riemsdyk
Kampfer Petrovic D3 52 Gustafsson – 32 Rozsival
Luongo – 35 Montoya G 33 Darling – 50 Crawford
Pirri, Bolland X Scuderi, Panik
Mitchell INJ Kruger

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 15 17 32
2. Jonathan Huberdeau 7 24 31
3. Aleksander Barkov 12 16 28
4. Jussi Jokinen 8 18 26
5. Reilly Smith 13 11 24

Chicago Blackhawks

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Patrick Kane 30 42 72
2. Artemi Panarin 16 29 45
3. Jonathan Toews 19 16 35
4. Brent Seabrook 7 24 31
5. Duncan Keith 7 23 30

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 19-13-4 .927 2.18

Chicago Blackhawks

Name Record Save % GAA
Scott Darling 5-3-2 .915 2.45

Between the Lines

The Panthers will face the Blackhawks for the 2nd and final time this season when Chicago visits the BB&T Center. The Panthers last played 4 days ago when they dropped their 4th game in a row to the Oilers after a 12-game winning streak. The Oilers got two goals from Taylor Hall, another from Jordan Eberle, and an empty-netter. The Panthers came alive in the 3rd period and nearly tied the game after Reilly Smith and Quinton Howden each scored a goal less than 3 minutes apart. Florida had 4 power play opportunites and was unable to convert on any of them, and that ended up being the difference despite the Panthers’ lackluster effort early on.

The good news for the Panthers is that Aaron Ekblad is expected to return to the lineup against the Blackhawks on Friday after missing 4 games with concussion symptoms. Ekblad was cleared to play on Wednesday and has participated in two straight team practices since. On Thursday, the Panthers placed Willie Mitchell on the injured reserve and recalled Dylan Olsen from the Portland Pirates. Mitchell is expected to miss at least the next two games with an undisclosed injury. Erik Gudbranson is also expected to play Friday despite crashing into the boards hard on Monday.

Amidst trade rumors, Brandon Pirri is scratched for Friday’s game, although head coach Gerard Gallant says it’s to help him bounce back from some tough games.

The Panthers will need to be up to the challenge as the Blackhawks are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Lightning on Thursday night which ended their own 12-game winning streak. Right winger Patrick Kane leads the league in goals (30), assists (42), and points (72). The Panthers and the Blackhawks last met back on October 22nd when Chicago walked away with a 3-2 victory.

Last Game Played

The Panthers faced the Oilers on Monday for their 46th game of the season and lost 4-2. You can find our recap by clicking here.

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