Preview: Red Wings @ Panthers, 2/4/16

Game #51
Detroit Red Wings (25-17-8 / 58 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (30-15-5 / 65 PTS)  
Thursday, February 4th, 2016 – 7:30PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Between the Lines

After one game on the road, the Panthers head back to the BB&T Center for their first home game after the All-Star Break, and they’ll face the division rival Detroit Red Wings. They faced the league’s best team in the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night and defeated them in a convincing manner by a score of 5-2. Jonathan Huberdeau recorded his 9th and 10th goals of the season while Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, and Quinton Howden scored the 3 other goals. Al Montoya was strong in net allowing just 2 goals on 38 shots to secure the Panthers’ 4th win in a row and first in Washington since December of 2010. The Panthers also improved their record to 21-0-1 when they score 3 or more goals in regulation and extended their winning streak with Aaron Ekblad in the lineup to an amazing 16 games.

“As a team, it’s good, 4 in a row…we just gotta keep going,” said Jonathan Huberdeau who recorded his first 2-goal game since January 2015.

Jaromir Jagr left the game in the 3rd period after the Panthers’ trainer was seen rubbing his lower right back on the bench. Gerard Gallant said after the game that he could’ve returned if he was needed, however the Panthers were up 4-2 at the time. Jagr is expected to play Thursday against Detroit. Willie Mitchell is apparently skating on his own, but it’s been reported that he’ll miss at least Thursday’s game. Mitchell hasn’t played since January 18th against the Oilers after sustaining an undisclosed injury. Brandon Pirri was scratched for the 4th straight game on Tuesday against Washington. Gallant says he doesn’t want to change a winning lineup, which is most likely true, but it’s been rumored that the Panthers are listening to trade offers for the 24-year old winger.

The Red Wings are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday and will therefore face the Panthers in the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Gustav Nyquist scored the lone Detroit goal while the Lightning scored 3 goals on just 23 shots. Roberto Luongo is expected to start for the Panthers while Jimmy Howard will likely suit up for the Red Wings since Petr Mrazek started on Wednesday.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 Abdelkader – 40 Zetterberg – 71 Larkin
36 Jokinen – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 17 Richards – 13 Datsyuk – 43 Helm
73 Pirri– 27 Bjugstad – 48 Shaw L3 21 Tatar – 41 Glendening – 14 Nyquist
53 Knight – 17 MacKenzie – 42 Howden L4 26 Jurco – 18 Andersson – 20 Miller
51 Campbell – 44 Gudbranson D1 2 Smith – 25 Green
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D2 65 Dekeyser – 27 Quincey
Kampfer – Petrovic D3 52 Ericsson – 47 Marchenko
Luongo – 35 Montoya G 34 Mrazek – 35 Howard
Thornton, Bolland X Pulkkinen, Sheahan
Mitchell INJ Kronwall

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jonathan Huberdeau 10 27 37
2. Jaromir Jagr 15 19 34
3. Aleksander Barkov 14 19 33
4. Jussi Jokinen 9 22 31
5. Reilly Smith 16 13 29

Detroit Red Wings

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Dylan Larkin 15 18 33
2. Henrik Zetterberg 9 24 33
3. Tomas Tatar 14 15 29
4. Gustav Nyquist 14 13 27
5. Justin Abdelkader 14 10 24

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 22-13-4 .930 2.08

Detroit Red Wings

Name Record Save % GAA
Jimmy Howard 7-7-4 .908 2.76
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