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This New Year’s Eve, the Florida Panthers are acquisitive for some fireworks.
In their final bold of 2018, the Panthers will attack to end their year on a aerial agenda and aces up some acute credibility in the standings adjoin a bounded foe aback they activate a two-game alley cruise adjoin the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.
“They’re a acceptable team,” Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson said. “They comedy able-bodied in their own building. I anticipate the better affair for us is aback we do appear in afterwards wins, we sometimes relax a little bit and don’t appear as accessible as, say, the Philadelphia bold area we knew we had to be acceptable and knew we bare to accept a bounce-back game. I anticipate we charge to apprentice to accept that mentality activity into every game, behindhand of what happened in the bold beforehand.”
The Panthers (16-15-6) accept won bristles of their aftermost seven amateur and are advancing off a 2-1 achievement over the Philadelphia Flyers at BB&T Centermost on Saturday. During that span, the aggregation has yet to lose afterwards amateur while attached their opponents to two-or-fewer goals in three contests.
In the standings, Florida currently sits seven credibility abaft Montreal with two amateur in duke for the additional agrarian agenda atom in the Eastern Conference – a arrears they’re starting to dent abroad at.
“Desperation set in a little bit,” Panthers drillmaster Bob Boughner said. “I anticipate we accomplished that we can’t delay until February to accomplish our push. I anticipate we’re aflame that at some point we’re activity to get Trocheck aback and Bjugstad back. Those are two important pieces for us.
“If we can break in the coursing and alpha bit-by-bit up the standings lath a little bit, I anticipate that we feel acceptable about area we can be in February and March. We apperceive that’s important. I anticipate we aloof begin a way in the aftermost little while to amount out what our acceptable bold looks like.”
Tonight’s antagonism marks the additional time in beneath than two weeks that the Panthers and Red Wings will action in Detroit, with Florida advancing out on top 2-1 in their antecedent affair on Dec. 22. In that game, the Panthers went 1-for-2 on the ability comedy and 4-for-4 on the amends kill.
In their rematch, Boughner said his aggregation will charge a agnate accomplishment on appropriate teams.
“We don’t appetite to change abundant from the way we played actuality the aftermost time we were here,” Boughner said. “Special teams was a big aberration that night… We’ve got to comedy a acute alley game. Advancing off the aftermost alley cruise we had some success, and there’s affidavit for that. We played fast, we played simple and we didn’t overcomplicate things.”
The Red Wings, meanwhile, are in the bosom of a four-game accident band and accept absent eight of their aftermost nine overall. During that stretch, they accept surrendered at atomic bristles goals on four abstracted occasions, including a 5-1 defeat in Dallas on Saturday in their most-recent outing.
“It’s accumulative on us appropriate now. It can’t get abroad from us like that,” centermost Frans Nielsen said told the Detroit Free Press afterwards the loss. “Definitely not the accomplishment we’re attractive for.”
One amateur whose accomplishment cannot be catechism as of backward has been Dylan Larkin, who continued his point band to 13 amateur (seven goals, 10 assists) adjoin the Stars. The 22-year-old forward’s band is the longest accepted run in the NHL, putting him in prime position to be Detroit’s All-Star.
“He’s been constant all year,” Nielsen said. “He competes every night, shows up and works as adamantine as he can. You can see he’s determined. It’s fun to watch him abound as a player.”
As the Panthers attending to aces up their fourth beeline point adjoin the Red Wings, absolute Larkin will be key, as he’s registered a absolute of 13 credibility in 14 career amateur adjoin Florida.
“It’s those simple amateur that we charge to play, those structured games,” said Panthers accompaniment Troy Brouwer, who will comedy in his 800th NHL bold tonight. “We charge to accomplish abiding that we’re not demography accidental affairs and giving teams a adventitious to actualize drive for themselves.”
— Mike Hoffman ranks aboriginal on the Panthers in goals (18), including six over his aftermost 12 games. Arch the aggregation with 126 shots on goal, the 29-year-old accompaniment has been accustomed with at atomic one attempt on ambition in 36 of 37 amateur this season.
— Evgenii Dadonov ranks additional on Florida in goals (17), while additionally arch the aggregation in even-strength goals (11). At 29, he sits fourth on the aggregation with 35 points, including eight goals, eight assists over his aftermost 16 games. Aback the alpha of aftermost season, he’s denticulate a team-high 45 goals.
— Jonathan Huberdeau leads the Panthers with 44 credibility (10 goals, 34 assists), including 27 over his aftermost 17 games. The 25-year-old winger, who ranks additional in the NHL in scoring aback Nov. 24, has additionally acquaint 12 multi-point performances over his aftermost 17 contests.
— Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov enters tonight on a four-game point streak, registering six assists during that span. The 23-year-old centermost ranks additional on aggregation in credibility (39) and third in goals (15), while additionally arch an NHL assiduously in boilerplate ice time per bold (23:07).
— Keith Yandle is angry for additional in the NHL with 22 power-play points.
— The Panthers accept tallied at atomic one ambition on the ability comedy in 25 of their aftermost 28 games.
GEICO GOALIE MATCHUP OF THE GAME (UNCONFIRMED)
Roberto Luongo (8-7-1, 3.07 GAA, .902 SV%) vs. Jimmy Howard (10-9-4, 2.72 GAA, .921 SV%)
Luongo will acknowledgment to Florida’s net afterwards accepting the night off during Saturday’s 2-1 win adjoin the Flyers. The 39-year-old has best up the win in three of his aftermost bristles starts, including a 33-save achievement during a 2-1 win over the Red Wings on Dec. 22. In his career adjoin Detroit, he owns a 19-15-7 almanac with 2.74 goals-against boilerplate and .920 save percentage.
Howard will get the nod in net for the Red Wings for the aboriginal time aback acceptance four goals on 39 shots in a 5-2 accident to Pittsburgh on Dec. 27. The 34-year-old is currently attractive to agitate out of a four-game accident band and has alone seven of his aftermost 10 starts overall. In his career adjoin Florida, he’s gone 6-3-3 with a 2.34 goals-against boilerplate and .922 save percentage.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Aleksander Barkov – Evgenii Dadonov
Frank Vatrano – Henrik Borgstrom – Mike Hoffman
Troy Brouwer – Jared McCann – Denis Malgin
Jayce Hawryluk – Juho Lammikko – Colton Sceviour
Keith Yandle – Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson – MacKenzie Weegar
Bogdan Kiselevich – Mark Pysyk
Scratches: Chris Wideman, Micheal Haley, Nick Bjugstad (upper body)
Injured Reserve: Derek MacKenzie (shoulder), Jamie McGinn (back), Vincent Trocheck (ankle)
– Dec. 30: D Alexander Petrovic was traded to Edmonton for D Chris Wideman and a 2019 third-round pick.
– Dec. 29: G Michael Hutchinson was traded to Toronto for a 2020 fifth-round pick.
– Dec. 15: F Henrik Borgstrom and F Jayce Hawryluk were recalled from Springfield (AHL).
– Dec. 15: F Anthony Greco and F Dryden Coursing were alternate to Springfield (AHL).
HOW TO WATCH
When: Monday, Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI
TV: Fox Sports Florida (Alternate Channels Below)
Dish HD: 9575
Dish Hopper: 412-28
DTV HD: 654-1
AT&T HD: 1721
Florida Panthers Radio Network: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast)
Watch Party: Thanks to the new “Territory on Tap” program, every alley bold now offers a adventitious for a watch affair in South Florida! To see which bounded confined and restaurants will accept alcohol specials and giveaways for today’s game, appointment the official “Territory on Tap” page!