Preview: Panthers @ Wild, 2/28/16

Game #62
Florida Panthers (35-18-8 / 78 PTS) @ Minnesota Wild (27-25-10 / 64 PTS)
Sunday, February 28th, 2016 – 3:00 PM EST
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN

Between the Lines

The Panthers will faced the Minnesota Wild for the second game of a back-to-back series on Sunday afternoon after losing the first game in a shootout to the Blue Jackets 4-3 on Saturday. Aleksander Barkov opened the scoring for the Panthers with his 19th goal of the season and Vincent Trocheck gave them a 2-0 lead with his 19th of the season. The Panthers dominated the first half of the game before the Blue Jackets scored 3 straight goals to take the lead, but not before Logan Shaw tied the game at 3 with his 5th of the season. In the shootout, Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad both hit the post and Roberto Luongo allowed the lone goal to give Columbus the victory.

The Panthers didn’t just dominate off the ice in the first period of the game, but they also dominated off of it as well as general manager Dale Tallon acquired 3 players – Jiri Hudler, Jakub Kindl, and Teddy Purcell – all within a span of about 1 hour. The best part is Tallon didn’t part with any players, only draft picks, and the team ended up signing WHL undrafted free-agent Dryden Hunt, a 20-year left winger playing for the Moose Jaw Warriors who leads the WHL in scoring with 49 goals in 61 games.

Hudler, Kindl, and Purcell are all expected to join the team for Tuesday’s game in Winnipeg, so the Panthers will roll out the same lineup on Saturday afternoon except for Roberto Luongo who will serve as the backup for Al Montoya. Montoya has allowed 3 or more goals just 3 times in the 17 games he’s played in this season. Aleksander Barkov has 7 goals in his last 7 games and 3 goals in his past 2 games.

The Wild are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Capitals on Friday night with goals coming from Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu. The Panthers and Wild last met on January 3rd in Florida when Jaromir Jagr and Dmitry Kulikov scored to give the Panthers a 2-1 win.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
36 Jokinen – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 11 Parise  – 9 Koivu –  3 Coyle
17 MacKenzie – 21 Trocheck – 18 Smith L2 Porter – 64 Granlund – 26 Vanek
92 Rau – 27 Bjugstad – 48 Shaw L3 22 Niederreiter – 56 Haula – 29 Pominville
28 Wilson – 41 McKegg – 22 Thornton L4 14 Fontaine – 19 Stoll – 18 Carter
Kulikov – 5 Ekblad D1 20 Suter – 46 Spurgeon
51 Campbell – Petrovic D2 6 Scandella – 24 Dumba
Kampfer – 44 Gudbranson D3 39 Prosser – 4 Reilly
35 Montoya – 1 Luongo G 40 Dubnyk – 32 Backstrom
Hudler, Purcell, Kindl, Matheson, Bolland X Folin, Stoll
Howden, Huberdeau, Pirri, Mitchell INJ Zucker, Brodin

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 20 25 45
2. Jussi Jokinen 11 31 42
3. Jonathan Huberdeau 11 29 40
4. Vincent Trocheck 19 19 38
5. Aleksander Barkov 19 19 38

Minnesota Wild

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Mikko Koivu 13 30 43
2. Ryan Suter 7 33 40
3. Thomas Vanek 18 20 38
4. Zach Parise 18 18 36
5. Mikael Granlund 7 26 33

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Al Montoya 9-4-2 .930 1.91

Minnesota Wild

Name Record Save % GAA
Devan Dubnyk 21-21-5 .917 2.39
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