NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 19th
(All times eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (21-20-5) at Florida Panthers (21-20-3), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Florida Panthers will try to get back in the win column
and also extend a point streak when they host the struggling Columbus Blue
Jackets tonight at BankAtlantic Center.
The Panthers had a three-game winning streak halted Monday against visiting
Atlanta, but the shootout loss marked Florida's fourth straight game with a
point. It's Florida's second-longest point streak of the season behind a 3-0-2
stretch from Dec. 23-Jan. 3.
Despite the point, Florida cannot be happy about the way Monday's loss to the
Thrashers transpired. Alexander Burmistrov scored the game-winning goal in the
shootout for Atlanta, but in order to even get to regulation the Thrashers
scored twice in the final two minutes of regulation.
Florida grabbed a 3-1 lead on Dmitry Kulikov's goal at 7:18 of the third, but
Bryan Little tallied with 1:58 remaining and Evander Kane scored just 44
seconds later to even the score.
"We had them for under 10 chances to score the whole night," Florida head
coach Peter DeBoer said. "But, the couple in the last two minutes end up in
the net. The story isn't always the last two minutes. We had a chance to make
it 3-0 on a couple of occasions but their guy made unbelievable saves to let
them hang around."
Kulikov and Dennis Wideman each lit the lamp for the Panthers and Scott
Clemmensen made 28 saves in the losing effort.
Florida's four-game point streak also represents the club's record so far on
its six-game homestand. The Panthers, who are 11-8-3 as the host this year,
will complete the residency against Tampa Bay on Friday.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have lost seven out of eight games in January,
but Columbus has at least earned a point in three straight contests, despite
losing its last two.
Columbus split a home-and-home with Detroit this weekend, winning the home
portion in a shootout and losing the road tilt in overtime. The Blue Jackets
followed that set with Tuesday's contest in Tampa and Columbus dropped a
shootout decision to the Lightning.
Ryan Malone scored the lone goal in the fourth round of the shootout to lead
the Bolts to the 3-2 victory at St. Pete Times Forum.After the first six
shootout participants failed to light the lamp, Malone beat Mathieu Garon on
the glove side with a wrist shot. Dwayne Roloson turned away Columbus' Antoine
Vermette to assure the extra point for Tampa Bay.
R.J. Umberger and Derick Brassard tallied for the Blue Jackets, while Garon
stopped 20 shots.
Despite the outcome, Columbus head coach Scott Arniel was pleased with the way
his team performed.
"I liked the way we played," Arniel said. "We came off that weekend series
against Detroit and I just thought we backed it up with a solid effort."
With six straight losses on the road, Columbus has fallen to 9-10-4 as the
visiting team this season. The Blue Jackets will complete the swing Saturday
in St. Louis.
The Blue Jackets recorded a 3-0 home win over Florida in the only meeting
between the clubs last season. Columbus has won three of four overall in the
series and has also taken the last two encounters in Sunrise.
01/19 10:41:07 ET