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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 30 at Toronto

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 Maple Leafs.

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 2:30 PM / News
By Justin Ullestad  - FloridaPanthers.com
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5 Things To Watch: Jan. 30 at Toronto
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 Maple Leafs.

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 Toronto.



PANTHERS (21-25-7) at MAPLE LEAFS (28-21-6)
7:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Florida 5-4-1; Toronto 7-2-1

NORTH OF THE BORDER: Playing north of the border sure hasn't had its effect on the Florida Panthers this season. The south Florida boys have posted a 4-3-1 record on the road against Canadian teams this season and are looking to sweep the season series in Toronto for the second time in three seasons and the third time in the last six. Since 2011, the Panthers have posted a 10-9-3 record against foes north of the border. The team will be looking to earn their fifth season victory on the road in Canada this season, the second most all-time for the Panthers franchise behind the squad's six road wins during the 2011-12 season.

FROM THE BLUELINE: When it comes to producing offense, Panthers defensemen Tom Gilbert and Dmitry Kulikov sure are providing it from the blue line. Gilbert has helped set up the goals as his 22 assists lead the team and the blueliner has 11 assists in the last 14 games, including three straight two assist games before Tuesday's game in Boston. Kulikov on the other hand has been finding the back of the net of late, scoring three of his five goals on the season in the last six games and adding a helper in that same span. 

AMERICAN SNIPER IN TORONTO: Phil Kessel is the offensive key to the success for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kessel, who will be representing Team USA at the Winter Olympics next month, leads the team in both goals (27) and assists (28) through 55 games this season. His 27 goals are tied for fifth among all NHL skaters. The Panthers shut down Kessel during the teams’ first meeting of the year on December 17, not allowing him to record a single point while holding him without a shot until the 5:15 mark of the third period. Another solid five-man effort will be needed across the board to earn a two game advantage in the season series against Kessel and the Atlantic Division foe Maple Leafs.

BOUNCING BACK: Despite Tuesday night’s loss in Boston, the Cats have been one of the best road teams in the NHL since early December, posting eight wins in their last 15 games away from home (8-6-1). The Cats have also been stellar as of late coming off a loss, earning a following game victory in four of their last five attempts. The “Comeback Cats” have responded well after a slow start to the season garnering the 7th best record in the Eastern Conference since December 5.

BOYES II MEN: When it comes to scoring goals, whether in-game or a shootout, Brad Boyes is the Panther’s man for the job. With Boyes’ slapshot goal from the circle during Tuesday’s game in Boston, he posted his team leading 14th goal of the season, and has recorded a goal in each of his last two games. Although Boyes is a perennial goal scorer, he is downright deadly in the shootout. Boyes leads all active skaters in career shooutout goals with 37. Through nine attempts this season, he has scored on six of them (.667), good for second most in the NHL.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
2 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
3 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
11 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
12 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 1 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 2 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -3 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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