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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 3rd (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (16-16-5) at Pittsburgh Penguins (19-15-4), 1 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Florida Panthers will try to avoid a fifth straight loss and the Penguins will try to halt a three-game slide when the teams meet today at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.

The Panthers ended their 2008 calendar year with four straight losses and last won on December 23 in Nashville.

Florida last played on Wednesday when it was handed a road loss on Long Island. Mike Comrie scored twice and Mark Streit had a goal and an assist as the New York Islanders posted a 4-2 decision over the Panthers at Nassau Coliseum.

Brett McLean and Nathan Horton scored for the Panthers, who have also lost six of their last eight games.

Tomas Vokoun made 19 saves before being replaced by Craig Anderson for the start of the third period. Anderson stopped 12-of-13 shots.

The Panthers are playing the second test of a four-game road trip today. Florida has dropped four straight as the visiting team and hasn't won on the road since defeating Calgary on December 12.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is coming off a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins. The Eastern Conference leaders outscored the Penguins, 9-4, in the series and notched a 4-2 decision in Boston on Thursday.

Ruslan Fedotenko and Dustin Jeffrey each had a goal for the Penguins in the New Year's Day meeting.

Dany Sabourin gave up three goals on 25 shots as he started in place of No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who has surrendered eight goals over his last two outings.

The Penguins have lost four of their last six games and are currently fourth in the Atlantic Division with 42 points. Last year's Eastern Conference champions started the 2008-09 season with 11 wins in 17 games, but Pittsburgh has posted just an 8-11-2 record since then.

Pittsburgh has an 8-8-2 mark as the host this year and has lost four straight and five of its last six home tests.

This is the first of four meetings between the Pens and Panthers this season. Pittsburgh has won six of the last nine encounters overall and Florida has dropped three straight in the Steel City.

01/03 10:22:22 ET


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