Preview: Jets @ Panthers, 2/20/16

Game #59
Winnipeg Jets (25-28-4 / 54 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (33-18-7 / 73 PTS)  
Saturday, February 20th, 2016 – 7:00PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Between the Lines

The Panthers and Jets will face each other for the first time this season on Saturday night in Sunrise. Florida is fresh off a 2-1 shootout loss on Thursday night to the Sharks, a game in which they held a 1-0 lead, thanks to Jaromir Jagr, for about 6 minutes before allowing the tying goal. Al Montoya made his 2nd consecutive start for the first time this season and allowed just 1 goal on 18 shots through regulation and the overtime period. You can read our recap of the game by clicking here.

On Friday morning, the Panthers recalled Mike Matheson and Kyle Rau from the AHL to replace Brent Regner and John McFarland who were sent down. Matheson, a cerebral 2-way defenseman with good skating ability, was drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 Draft and has long been regarded as the Panthers’ top prospect. Rau, a hard-working 2-way forward with offensive upside, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 Draft and is, like Matheson, currently in his first pro season in the AHL. Both will make their NHL debuts against the Jets on Saturday night.

The Jets are coming off a 6-5 shootout loss to the Lightning on Thursday night. Andrew Ladd scored twice, including once while shorthanded, while Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault added a power play goal each. Ondrej Pavelec made 16 saves on 21 shots through regulation and overtime.

Saturday’s game comes at a time when the Panthers are rumored to be interested in Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd with the trade deadline fast approaching (February 29). The Panthers were also reportedly interested in Dustin Byfuglien, however he was recently signed to a 5-year contract extension. General Manager Dale Tallon has ties to both players from his time in the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office before arriving in Florida in 2010.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg  Winnipeg_Jets_Logo_2011.svg
11 Huberdeau – 27 Bjugstad – 36 Jokinen L1 27 Ehlers – 85 Perreault – 26 Wheeler
18 Smith – 21 Trocheck – 68 Jagr L2 16 Ladd – 55 Scheifele – 40 Armia
92 Rau – 17 MacKenzie – 48 Shaw L3 Burmistrov – 17 Lowry – 12 Stafford
28 Wilson – 41 McKegg – 22 Thornton L4 22 Thorburn – 9 Copp – 14 Peluso
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 39 Enstrom – 33 Byfuglien
51 Campbell – 6 Petrovic D2 8 Trouba – 57 Myers
Kampfer – 56 Matheson D3 7 Chiarot – 4 Postma
35 Montoya – Luongo G 34 Hutchinson – 31 Pavelec
Howden, Bolland X Little, Pardy
Pirri, Mitchell, Gudbranson, Barkov INJ  Clitsome

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 18 23 41
2. Jonathan Huberdeau 11 29 40
3. Jussi Jokinen 11 27 38
4. Vincent Trocheck 17 19 36
5. Reilly Smith 18 17 35

Winnipeg Jets

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Blake Wheeler 16 38 54
2. Brian Little 17 25 42
3. Dustin Byfuglien 15 20 35
4. Mathieu Perreault 9 25 35
5. Andrew Ladd 15 17 34

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 24-14-5 .924 2.29

Winnipeg Jets

Name Record Save % GAA
Michael Hutchinson 6-10-1 .908 2.87
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