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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 ET / 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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 73 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 71 15 26 -2 41
J. Jokinen 75 8 33 -2 41
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 75 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 66 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 65 14 17 -1 31
B. Campbell 76 3 22 2 25
B. Pirri 43 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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