Preview: Panthers @ Blue Jackets, 2/27/16

Game #61
Florida Panthers (35-18-7 / 77 PTS) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (25-29-8 / 58 PTS)
Saturday, February 27th, 2016 – 3:00 PM EST
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, OH

Between the Lines

The Panthers are coming off their 2nd straight win on Thursday night after defeating the Arizona Coyotes in 3-2 which saw Aleksander Barkov return after missing 6 games with a concussion and Erik Gudbranson returning after an 8-game absence with an upper-body injury. Barkov was impressive as he scored 2 goals including one on the power play and another off a nice feed from Jaromir Jagr. The Panthers allowed the first goal of the game, but Vincent Trocheck tied things up at 1 with his 18th of the season before Barkov took over.

Jonathan Huberdeau (concussion) and Willie Mitchell (concussion) did not travel with the team for the 5-game road trip, however Huberdeau could join the team near the end of it if cleared to play. We’ve been told the team is targeting a return around March 7th which the first game back from the road trip against the Bruins. Quinton Howden is traveling with the team and we’ve been told he could return as soon as Saturday against the Blue Jackets or Sunday against Minnesota.

The Blue Jackets are coming off a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday which included a hat-trick by Nick Foligno and a 25-save performance by Joonas Korpisalo. Matt Calvert and William Karlsson both recorded 3 assists.

Saturday will be the 3rd and final meeting between the two teams with the first 2 being won by the Panthers. On December 4th, Vincent Trocheck scored in regulation and Aleksander Barkov scored the game-winner in the shootout. On December 27th, Barkov had a 2-goal performance and Jonathan Huberdeau recorded 2 assists to give the Panthers a 3-2 victory.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
36 Jokinen – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 38 Jenner – 17 Dubinsky – 13 Atkinson
17 MacKenzie – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 20 Saad – 41 Wennberg – 43 Hartnell
92 Rau – 27 Bjugstad – 48 Shaw L3 11 Calvert – 25 Karlsson – 71 Foligno
28 Wilson – 41 McKegg – 22 Thornton L4 18 Bourque – Campbell – 21 Rychel
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 3 Jones – 27 Murray
51 Campbell – Petrovic D2 51 Tyutin – 47 Prout
Kampfer 44 Gudbranson D3 29 Goloubef – 58 Savard
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 70 Korpisalo – 30 McElhinney
Matheson, Howden, Bolland X Paliotta
Huberdeau, Pirri, Mitchell INJ Boll, Bobrovsky, Clarkson, Johnson

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 20 24 44
2. Jussi Jokinen 11 30 41
3. Jonathan Huberdeau 11 29 40
4. Vincent Trocheck 18 19 37
5. Aleksander Barkov 18 19 37

Columbus Blue Jackets

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Brandon Saad 23 16 39
2. Scott Hartnell 19 20 39
3. Cam Atkinson 19 19 38
4. Brandon Dubinsky 14 23 37
5. Boone Jenner 22 13 35

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 26-14-5 .925 2.26

Columbus Blue Jackets

Name Record Save % GAA
Joonas Korpisalo 11-7-4 .919 2.61
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