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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Flames

The Cats and Flames battle in Sunrise at BB&T Center.

Friday, 04.4.2014 / 12:00 PM ET / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Flames

THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

Florida Panthers vs. Calgary Flames


Panthers Flames
Record 27-42-8 32-38-7
Points 62 71
Place 7th in Atlantic 6th in Pacific

The Florida Panthers are set to kick off their season-ending five-game home stretch. After wrapping up their road campaign on Tuesday in New York, the Cats will be in South Florida from here on out. They get things started tonight when they take on the Calgary Flames at 7:30 pm ET.

Here is tonight’s Lowdown:

Red Hot Cats to Watch

Dmitry Kulikov: With points in his last two games, Kulikov now has 19 points on the season (8-11-19). More impressively, Kulikov has been gobbling up ice-time like Robert Baratheon gobbles up wild boar at a wedding feast. Florida’s 23-year-old D-man has been consistently topping the 20:00 minute mark each game and his season average TOI of 21:33 is second on the team, trailing only fellow ice-hound Brian Campbell.

Brandon Pirri: Goals in back-to-back games have stretched Pirri’s total to five since joining the team in March. In his 16 games with the Cats, Pirri has accumulated nine points (5-4-9). The 22-year-old forward has been especially helpful on the powerplay as four of his points have come with the Cats on the man-advantage.

Pre-game Tweet of the Day

There is a Sean Monahan Face Game

I haven’t figured out how to play it yet, but it exists.

Flames Team Scope

The Flames and the Panthers are both young teams with bright futures ahead of them. Calgary’s playoff hopes may be gone, but like the Cats they have a lot of players who are just getting their first tastes of NHL action.

Despite Calgary’s position in the standing, don’t expect the Flames to come out flat. Veteran left-winger Curtis Glencross made it clear that Calgary intends to compete until the very end this season.

"This is an evaluation period for everyone," said Glencross. "None of us like to lose. We've got a lot of pride. Obviously, we're not in the playoffs now, but at the same time, you don't like losing games. We're going to play it hard right to the end."

The Flames are in the midst of a five-game Eastern Conference swing. They backed up their talk last night as they beat the playoff bound Lightning 4-1 in Tampa.

The Last Time

It’s only fair that the Flames come to South Florida four games into their road trip and on the second half of a back-to-back. When the Panthers took on the Flames in Alberta back in November, they were playing their fifth game of a brutal five-game Western Conference swing on the back end of their second back-to-back of the trip. Despite their tired legs, the Panthers managed to pick up a point in a 4-3 OT loss. The Panthers will be well rested tonight and looking to return the favor to the road weary Flames.

On a side note, Jimmy Hayes scored his first Panthers goal in Florida’s November tilt in Calgary.

Pick a Panther

(Selecting a Panthers player to score in tonight’s game)

Current streak: 0

A fun way to add some excitement to your Panthers viewing experience is by picking one of the Panthers’ goal scorers for every game. I will be picking players for the remainder of the season and if you want to play along, tweet your picks to @FlaPanthers, #PickaPanther. If you pick right, you might get a retweet (commitment is not really my thing)…

Pat’s Pick: Sean Bergenheim

Bergenheim is two goals away from his career high of 17 so expect him to be netting a couple during the five-game homestand. Hopefully he comes through tonight and I can finally get one on the board.

Jump Jiri Jump!

That’s all for tonight. Let’s go Panthers!

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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