Florida Panthers Facebook Florida Panthers Twitter Florida Panthers Google+ Florida Panthers Pintrest Florida Panthers Instagram Florida Panthers
Preview

One Of Those Crucial Four Point Games

Thursday, 03.5.2009 / 12:31 PM ET / Preview
Florida Panthers
X
Share with your Friends


One Of Those Crucial Four Point Games
The Panthers and Penguins play for the second time this season. Florida earned a 6-1 victory in Pittsburgh on January 3rd. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

SUNRISE – With the trade deadline past and the “best defenseman in the league” still in a Panther uniform, coach Peter DeBoer had his players back on the ice Thursday morning in preparation for tonight’s game at BankAtlantic Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“A four-point game,” is how DeBoer described tonight’s game with the Panthers sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Penguins, who have won four consecutive games and six of their last seven.

“You see the standings, see where both teams are sitting,” DeBoer said. “The Penguins have won four in a row. These are all critical games down the stretch, especially when you’re playing a team you’re fighting for a playoff position with.”

The Panthers came out of Wednesday’s trade deadline not only with All-Star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester part of the team, but also with defenseman Steve Eminger, who was acquired from Tampa for Noah Welch and a 2009 draft pick.

Bouwmeester, an unrestricted free agent this summer, said he was happy to remain a Panther and was looking forward to the remainder of the season. DeBoer was equally as pleased.

“For me, he’s the best defenseman in the league,” said DeBoer of Bouwmeester. “He plays 30 minutes a night, he plays in all situations for us. It would have been an unfillable hole for us down the stretch (if he was traded). Whatever we got back in return we could have made the best of it, (but) it would have effected our team chemistry. It would have had an effect in a lot of different areas. Who knows whether we could have got through it or not.”

DeBoer also said the addition of Eminger gives the Panthers the “deepest seven defensemen in the league, which is a nice luxury to have.”

Eminger, who has averaged 22:27 of ice time this season and racked up 21 assists while playing in Philadelphia (12 games) and Tampa (50 games), will play tonight. Nick Boynton, who is back with the team after being sent home from last week’s road trip due to disciplinary reasons, will be a healthy scratch.

“My plan until we made the trade (for Eminger) was to play Nick (tonight),” said DeBoer, who coached Eminger in junior hockey. “We were through (the incident). We know what (Boynton) can do for us…but you don’t make a trade for a player and not play him.”

NOTES

David Booth skated with the team Thursday morning and will be a game time decision… Sidney Crosby, who’s missed four games with a groin injury, is 50-50…Tomas Vokoun gets the start in goal…Keaton Ellerby was sent back to Rochester…Cory Stillman has 33 points (11 goals) in 25 career games against the Penguins…Vokoun is 5-6-2 lifetime against the Pens with a 2.59 goals against and .914 save percentage…

GUERIN TO MAKE DEBUT

Bill Guerin, acquired Wednesday from the Islanders by the Penguins for a conditional draft pick, will make his Penguin debut tonight. Guerin, who knew assistant coach and former Panther Tom Fitzgerald when they were kids growing up outside Boston, is expected to bring the Penguins size and scoring up front and veteran leadership. Guerin is one point shy of becoming the 14th U.S., born player to record 800 NHL points. He’s one of only eight U.S., born players to have 400 NHL goals.

OLESZ SKATES WITH PANTHERS

Rostislav Olesz, who has missed 39 games after surgery to repair a sports hernia, skated with the team for the first time Thursday morning. “It felt good to be with the team,” said Olesz, who had been skating on his own the past six days. Olesz is hoping to be ready to play within two weeks…

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd.
NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as a
ll other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.