PANTHERS (21-26-7) at BLUE JACKETS (27-23-4)
7:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Florida 4-5-1; Columbus 7-3-0
ON A HIGH NOTE: The Cats look to bookend their four-game road trip with a second big W when they take on the surging Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Florida kicked off their road trip with a come-from-behind shootout victory in Detroit before falling in Boston and Toronto. The Cats have been solid on the road as of late and are 10-7-2 in their last 19 away from the BB&T Center.
GONE STREAKING: A trio of Panthers have provided the offense over the last couple games as forwards Sean Bergenheim and Brad Boyes together with defenseman Dmitry Kulikov sit on point streaks. Bergenheim's five-game point streak (3-2-5) is tied for a career high while Boyes and Kulikov each have two goals and an assist in their last three.
FLYING FINN SIGHTING?: Rookie center Aleksander Barkov practiced with the team for the first time on Friday since suffering a lower body injury on Jan. 21 in Buffalo. He was back with his line mates at the morning skate on Saturday at Nationwide Arena, centering Bergenheim and Boyes. Despite missing the last four games, Barkov sits just one point off the team lead in points with 24.
NETMINDER BATTLE: Saturday night is shaping up to be a showdown between Florida's Tim Thomas and Blue Jacket Sergei Bobrovsky, who will represent Russia between the pipes in Sochi. Thomas is 8-5-2 with a .919 save percentage in his last 15 games while Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina trophy winner, is 10-2 in his last 12 starts.
SUCH A BJUGTY: Rookie Panthers center Nick Bjugstad has been a force on both sides of the ice recently, scoring pretty goals, laying big hits and helping out in the defensive zone. To top it off, the Meteor from Minnesota scored the shootout winner in Detroit with a wicked move. The 6'6 Bjugstad has seven points, including four goals, in his last 10 games.
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