PANTHERS (4-11-4) at WILD (11-4-4)
TV: FS-F, FS-N, FS-WI
Last 10: Florida 1-5-4; Minnesota 8-1-1
Season series: This is the second and final meeting between the Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild. They met on Oct. 19, in Sunrise, Fla., a 2-1 shootout win in which Tim Thomas made 30 saves and two more in the shootout to preserve the victory.
Big story: The Wild come in on a tear, winners of eight of 10 and four in a row on home ice. The Panthers, who traded Kris Versteeg to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday for a pair of young players in forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen, begin a five-game road trip looking for their first two-game winning streak of the season. They are 1-7-1 away from home.
Panthers: Florida ended a nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The Panthers had trailed in the game, 2-0. Their previous win before Tuesday was against the Wild.
"One game isn't going to change our year, we have a long way to go. But there's a new light, a new opportunity for all of us to be better professionals. I expect more of myself. I'm demanding more," Scottie Upshall, who had a goal and an assist in the win, told the Miami Herald.
It was also the first win for interim head coach Peter Horachek, who had been 0-2-0 since replacing Kevin Dineen.
"This is not about me. This is about the team. The team's got to learn to win and be winners and learn how it feels," Horachek said after the game. "They feel pretty good in there right now. They know that they worked hard and they got back into the situation, won a big game and needed to win a game after where this team has been."
Wild: For a third straight game, Minnesota was involved in a shootout, coming out with a 2-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. After going 0-for-7 on shootout attempts, the Wild have made five of six in the past two games, including 2-for-3 on Wednesday, as Zach Parise and Jason Pominville scored.
Playing for the first time since Oct. 28, Niklas Backstrom had three saves before leaving the game in the first period after Nazem Kadri crashed into him. Josh Harding took over making 19 saves and two in the shootout to preserve the win.
"A tough spot when you're not supposed to start and you come in, probably not warm and haven't seen a shot since warm-ups. … He once again was impressive and made some big saves and gave us a chance," Pominville said of Harding.
Added Parise, who scored the equalizer late in the third period: "I don't think anyone can be surprised anymore with how well he's playing. He made some big saves in the shootout again and it was great."
Who's hot: Brian Campbell has three points in the past two games for the Panthers. … Parise has three goals and four assists in six November games for the Wild. Harding is 10-2-2 and ranks first with a 1.21 goals-against average and second with a .947 save percentage.
Injury report: Florida defenseman Ed Jovanovski is on injured reserve. Forward Scott Gomez (groin) is questionable. … Backstrom won't dress on Friday for Minnesota, which called up Johan Gustafsson on Friday. Defenseman Keith Ballard (upper body) is on injured reserve.
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