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A Familiar Foe

Wednesday, 11.26.2008 / 12:36 PM ET / Preview
Florida Panthers
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A Familiar Foe
The Panthers and Devils battle for the second time in less than a week. New Jersey earned a 3-1 victory over Florida last Thursday. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
The Panthers reaped the benefits of a good start Monday night when beating the Hurricanes 3-2. They hope to repeat that effort throughout 60 minutes this evening when they play host to the Devils at BankAtlantic Center.

The Panthers (8-11-1) will meet a Devils team this evening that has won four consecutive games – including a 3-1 victory over the Panthers last week – and are coming off a 7-3 victory Sunday in Tampa Bay.

The Devils (11-7-2, 4-3-1 on the road) were led Sunday by a four-goal performance from Dainius Zubrus. Zach Parise has 13 goals for the Devils and Patrick Elias eight goals and 12 assists. Goalie Scott Clemmensen is riding a three-game winning streak.

“Our game seems to (revolve) around our starts,” said Panther coach Peter DeBoer after Wednesday’s morning skate at the BankAtlantic Center. “If we can dictate the play and forecheck like we did against Carolina - come out and be ready to go and attack early in a game – we seem to have more success. I thought (last week) in New Jersey we waited to see what they were going to do.”

DeBoer stressed the importance of playing a complete game tonight against the Devils.

“Our team’s got to be prepared for 60 minutes,” he added. “(The Devils) hit, they battle. It’s a pretty simple game plan. Get the pucks up along the boards and into the corners and win your battles and get to the net. So we have to show up tonight with a battle mentality that we’re going to get to those dirty areas.

“I think this game comes down to which team is more desperate, which one wants it more. You’ve got two teams who know a lot about each other. I think we play similar styles, we’ve both been hit by some injuries and I think it will come down to the goaltender, who executes and who’s the more desperate group.”

The Panthers will be without Richard Zednik, who injured his left arm in Monday’s victory. Zednik will be out for “weeks, not days,” according to DeBoer.

“I thought he was starting to play the best hockey he’s played,” DeBoer said. “He seemed to have some chemistry with (Michael) Frolik.”

The Panthers did not call up anyone from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Rochester in wake of Zednik’s injury. The Panthers have 12 forwards on the roster.

The Panthers will have only one healthy scratch tonight, and that will come from the blue line. Depending on whether Nick Boynton (concussion) dresses, the healthy scratch will be a game-time decision.

NOTES

Defenseman Bryan McCabe enters tonight’s game with eight points (3-5-8) and a plus-4 rating in his last nine games. Left winger Ville Peltonen has a two-game goal scoring streak… Peltonen and David Booth have scored four of the Panthers last five goals… DeBoer added the Panthers will need more from depth players like Peltonen if they’re to be competitive. “Games will be decided whether we get contributions from our depth players up front or our defense,” he said. “Like last game, Peltonen got one, Campbell… tonight it has to be someone else. We’ve got to get three goals at least out of them or you’re not going to have much of an opportunity to win.”… On this day in hockey history (1917)…the National Hockey League was founded...

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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