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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Stars

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

Sunday, 04.06.2014 / 12:20 PM / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Stars
The Cats and Stars battle in Sunrise at BB&T Center.

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
 
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