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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.

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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