Florida: 8-5-3 (19PTS)
Dallas: 11-5-0 (22PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-0
Game Time: 8:30 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: 560 WQAM
The Panthers play their lone game of the season against the Dallas Stars. The teams met twice in a home and home series in the pre-season. The first was a 4-3 home overtime loss after an ugly brawling game. The second was a 7-1 blowout. The Panthers' hot start has cooled off a bit, though the team is still in seventh place and still on a playoff pace. The Stars are on a hot start of their own and are sitting at second in the Western Conference. The Panthers, who have been solid on the road, are on a quick two-game road trip that will see them visit St. Louis on Thursday before returning home to face the Eastern Conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
News and Notes
The last regular season game between the two clubs was last October, a 4-1 home loss. Tom Wandell had the game winner, Stephen Weiss the lone Panthers goal and Scott Clemmensen was perfect (6 saves) in relief of Tomas Vokoun, who let in 4 goals on 23 shots in the first two periods.
The Panthers lost 3-2 to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers in an ugly game that featured seriously inconsistent refereeing. Both teams had plenty of phantom and missed calls. Stephen Weiss was thrown out of the game for complaining about a penalty shot awarded to Matt Read off a shorthanded breakaway. Read scored on the penalty shot and that held up as the game winner. The Panthers' power play was 0-for-7 including some 5-on-3 time. They did manage to cut the Flyers lead with a Tomas Fleischmann goal with about 14 seconds left, but could not force overtime.
Coach Kevin Dineen swapped sixth defensemen again as Keaton Ellerby returned to the press box after 4 games and Erik Gudbranson took the spot on a pairing with Ed Jovanovski. Based on Dineen's earlier changes, Gudbranson will probably play the next several games. Evgeny Dadonov was recalled on Saturday to replace Scottie Upshall in the lineup. Upshall is not on the current road trip and rumor is he'll be out until December. Jack Skille, injured against the Flyers, is on the trip, but Tim Kennedy was recalled today to play in his place.
- Mikael Samuelsson (rehab from abdominal surgery), 10/24, week to week
- Scottie Upshall (upper body injury), 11/10, 3 to 6 weeks
- Jack Skille (unknown), 11/13, day to day
- D Keaton Ellerby OR
- D Erik Gudbranson
Scott Clemmensen will make his regular season debut against the Stars tonight, while Kari Lehtonen will start for the home team.