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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Stars

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

Sunday, 04.6.2014 / 12:20 PM ET / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Stars

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. Dallas Stars


Panthers Stars
Record 27-43-8 38-28-11
Points 62 87
Place 7th in Atlantic 5th in Central

In the first game of their season ending five game homestand on Friday night, the Florida Panthers fell 2-1 to the Calgary Flames. The homestand continues this afternoon with the Dallas Stars in town for a 5:00 p.m. puck drop.

Here is the lowdown:

Flame Off

On Military Appreciation Night at BB&T Center, Florida extinguished Calgary’s attack for most of the game. Florida limited the Flames to just 17 shots, but the Cats could not get enough pucks by Calgary goaltender Joey MacDonald who stopped 34 of the 35 shots the Cats sent his way.

Military Tweet Beat

Trocheck-ing Ball

Vinny continues to impress in his short time with the Panthers. Friday’s goal was his fourth of the season and the first powerplay goal of his NHL career.

The Butler Is In

Bobby Butler made his Panthers debut on Friday, playing on the wing alongside Scott Gomez and Sean Bergenheim. Butler’s 45 (21-24-45) points in 64 games place him atop the San Antonio Rampage leaderboard, and the 26-year-old forward brought that scoring prowess to the ice against the Flames. Bobby B recorded 15:16 TOI, two shots and a couple of dandy moves in his first game with the Panthers.

Stars on Ice?

The Stars took a big step towards qualifying for the playoffs with their 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. The win gave Dallas 87 points and it vaulted them over the Phoenix Coyotes and into the second Western Conference wild card spot. The Coyotes trail Dallas by just a point but the Stars have a game in hand over Phoenix. With the win last night, Dallas now has an 86.1% chance of making the playoffs while the Coyotes playoff chances dropped to 14.2%.

I don’t really know what this means but I guess it’s working…

This does mean that tonight’s game will be crucial for the Stars and it means that the Panthers have an excellent opportunity to handout a demoralizing setback to Dallas’ playoff campaign.

Hey Brother

A large part of Dallas’ success this season has been the play of brothers Jordie and Jamie Benn. Jordie (26) has accumulated 20 points (3-17-20) from the blueline while team captain Jamie (24) has piled up 74 points (32-42-74).

The Benns have been rockin’ the suburbs of Dallas all season long and the strong play has them ascending the ‘best teammate tandem of brothers’ standings that I just made up two minutes ago. While it might be a battle of who could care less, you could make a case that the Benns should actually top the list.


The Sedin twins, usually the de facto top dogs, are both having down years by their standards and their Canucks look like they will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Carolina’s Eric (19-39-58) and Jordan Staal (15-24-39) have put up okay, if not slightly disappointing, numbers, but the Canes also look like they will be hitting the links sooner than they would have hoped this season.

Like the Stars, the (probably) playoff bound Philadelphia Flyers have a brotherly forward/defenseman combo in Brayden (18-21-39) and Luke Schenn (4-7-11), but just one glace at the numbers will tell you that the Benns have been more instrumental to their team’s success than the Schenns.

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: Nick Bjugstad

The Panthers rookie center is currently in a three way tie, with Scottie Upshall and Brian Campbell, for the team scoring lead. I suspect the chance at the team scoring title might give Bjugstad some added motivation and the result of that motivation will be a big game from the big 21-year-old.

Enjoy the game.

SCHEDULE

HOME
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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