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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 24 vs Colorado

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 Avalanche.

Friday, 01.24.2014 / 12:30 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 24 vs Colorado
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 Avalanche.

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 Colorado.


AVALANCHE (31-13-5) at PANTHERS (20-23-7)
7:30 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Colorado 7-2-1; Florida 5-3-2

SERIES CLOSE OUT: The Panthers and Avs meet for the second time this season and the Cats look to sweep the season series after taking a 4-1 victory in Colorado in early November. This game unfortunately won't see the battle between the top two picks in this last season's draft as Panthers rookie center Aleksander Barkov will miss the game with a lower body injury. Florida fans will see the top rookie scorer in No. 1 pick Nathan MacKinnon and the rest of his teammates at the BB&T Center however. A win would give the Panthers two wins in the season series for the first time in franchise history, even dating back to when the Avs were the Quebec Nordiques.

THREE SPOT: Florida's offensive surge in single period has continued of late. After posting just three goals in a period once in their first 45 games, the offense has struck quickly as they have recorded three three-goal periods in their last five games including in back-to-back periods against the Penguins (third) and Sabres (first).

HOT STREAKS: Rookie forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad are picking up the offense as the Panthers young guns sit on three-game point streaks. Huberdeau has posted four points (1-3-4) over that span while slick Nick has posted three (1-2-3), including his team leading third game-winning goal in the second period against Buffalo. Forward Jesse Winchester has also been great since coming back from injury, posting four points (1-3-4) in the back-to-back wins over the Penguins and Sabres.

SINCE DECEMBER: Florida has been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference since the calendar hit December. After opening the month with a loss against Winnipeg, the Cats have gone on to a 13-7-2 record, earning 28 points along the way.

FOLLOW THE LEADER: It's been great to see captain Ed Jovanovski back on the ice and JovoCop has been producing since returning from injury nine games ago. Jovo has already had two two-point nights, including a goal and an assist in his 1,100th career NHL game in Buffalo on Tuesday. The captain sits just one point shy of 500 for his NHL career.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
D. Bolland 48 5 16 1 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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