Preview: Devils @ Panthers, 3/31/16

Game #77
 New Jersey Devils (37-32-8 / 82 PTS) @ Florida Panthers (42-25-9 / 93 PTS)
Thursday, March 31st, 2016 – 7:30PM EST
BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL

Between the Lines

The Panthers will face the Devils for the 2nd game of a 3-game home stand on Thursday after a difficult 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Jonathan Huberdeau scored his career-high 16th goal of the season and Greg McKegg got his first career NHL goal against his former team, but it wouldn’t be enough to withstand a Nazem Kadri hat-trick. The Panthers also lost center Vincent Trocheck to a fractured fibula after he blocked a shot with his lower leg and it’s expected that he’ll be out of the lineup for about 3 to 4 weeks.

Erik Gudbranson is expected to rejoin the lineup after suffering a fracture in his foot on 3/14 against the Islanders and Derek MacKenzie could be back as well after also suffering a foot fracture against Philadelphia on 3/12. Rocco Grimaldi was recalled from the AHL to replace Trocheck and he’ll slide in as the 3rd-line center with Nick Bjugstad stepping up to the 2nd line.

The Devils are coming off a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday as Reid Boucher and Travis Zajac each recorded a goal and an assist in front of Keith Kinkaid who made 39 saves on 30 shots. Goaltender Cory Schneider was activated off the injured reserve on Wednesday and could start against the Panthers after missing 11 games as a result of spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on March 4th.

The two teams last met on December 17th as the Panthers won 5-1 to earn the 2nd win of what ended up being a franchise-record 12 in a row.

Projected Line Combinations

Florida_Panthers.svg
11 Huberdeau – 16 Barkov – 68 Jagr L1 64 Blandisi – 14 Henrique – 25 Smith-Pelly
36 Jokinen – 27 Bjugstad – 18 Smith L2 12 Boucher – 19 Zajac – 21 Palmieri
26 Purcell – 23 Grimaldi – 24 Hudler L3 56 Pietila – 51 Kalinin– 46 Sislo
42 Howden – 17 MacKenzie – 22 Thornton L4 23 Farnham – 11 Gionta – 15 Ruutu
51 Campbell – 5 Ekblad D1 6 Greene – 5 Larsson
Kulikov – 44 Gudbranson D2 2 Moore – 28 Severson
46 Kindl Kampfer D3 39 Helgeson – 47 Warsofsky
1 Luongo – 35 Montoya G 1 Kinkaid – 35 Schneider
Trocheck, Shaw, Wilson, McKegg, Petrovic X Wedgewood, Mozik, Merrill, Schlemko, Kennedy, Tootoo
Mitchell, Bolland INJ Cammalleri, Elias, Clowe, Tlusty

Top 5 Scorers

Florida Panthers

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Jaromir Jagr 25 34 59
2. Jussi Jokinen 17 41 58
3. Vincent Trocheck 25 28 53
4. Jonathan Huberdeau 16 36 52
5. Aleksander Barkov 23 27 50

New Jersey Devils

Player Goals Assists Points
1. Kyle Palmieri 29 25 54
2. Adam Henrique 27 19 46
3. Travis Zajac 14 28 42
4. Mike Cammalleri 14 24 38
5. Damon Severson 1 19 20

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Florida Panthers

Name Record Save % GAA
Roberto Luongo 32-19-6 .921 2.37

New Jersey Devils

Name Record Save % GAA
Keith Kinkaid 9-7-1 .904 2.78
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