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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 21 at Buffalo

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup against the Sabres.

Tuesday, 01.21.2014 / 11:30 AM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 21 at Buffalo
Whether you\'re going to the game or if you can\'t make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight\'s matchup against the Sabres.

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or 560 WQAM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup against Buffalo.

PANTHERS (19-23-7) at SABRES (13-27-7)
7:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Florida 5-3-2; Buffalo 3-3-4

CAREER NIGHTS: Monday night was a great night for the Panthers as a team and individually. As a team, they beat the cream of the crop in the East in convincing fashion, downing the top team in the East, the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. That victory was propelled by a couple of career nights as Drew Shore netted his first two-goal game of his career and blueliners Mike Weaver (assist, plus-5) and Dmitry Kulikov (goal, plus-4) set career highs in the plus-minus category. The offense was also propelled by the return of a forward from injury.

WELCOME BACK JESSE: Missing the last 14 games of the season due to an upper body injury, forward Jesse Winchester didn’t look any worse for the wear in the time he missed as he set up three of the Panthers goals Monday night. The three assists were both career highs in assists and points while his plus-3 on the night tied a career high. Last playing over a month ago (Dec. 15), Winchester had a goal before going down with the injury in Montreal.



THREE SPOT: Florida had posted three goals in a period just once in their first 45 games, ironically in period three of their season opener in Dallas. The offense has struck quickly tripling that number thanks to two three-goal period outbursts in their last four games. After posting three goals in the opening period against the Islanders last Tuesday, Florida struck for three in the third period against Pittsburgh as Kulikov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Shawn Matthias (latter two came 12 seconds apart) all scored in the Panthers win going away.



KILLIN IT: The Panthers penalty kill unit has continued their remarkable play of late. After killing off all three Penguins power play chances Monday night, the Panthers have not allowed a power play goal in their last 10 straight games, dating back to Dec. 29. Killing off 29 straight penalties overall, the 10 straight games in the most in franchise history, two more than the previous high.

GOALIE BATTLE?: When it comes to the Panthers and Sabres, expect a goaltending battle. The teams have combined for six regulation goals between them in two games this season. Buffalo earned a 3-1 victory in Sunrise earlier this year while Florida took a come-from-behind 2-1 shootout victory less than two weeks ago in Buffalo. Tim Thomas and Jhonas Enroth were the goalies of choice in the first two games and Thomas has been stellar for the Panthers of late, posting a 6-3-2 with .928 save percentage in his last 11 games. Cats netminder Scott Clemmensen has been no slouch either. After stopping 35 of 36 shots against the Penguins, Clemmensen is 6-2-0 with a .922 save percentage over his last eight games.

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
 
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