New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers - Game 20 Preview

Florida: 10-6-3 (23PTS)
New Jersey: 10-7-1 (21PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-0
Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, MSG +
Radio: 560 WQAM

Former Panthers coach Pete DeBoer makes his return to South Florida with his new team, the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are in 10th place, but only 1 point out of 8th. The Panthers are in 3rd by virtue of being in the Southeast Division lead. Wholly apart from the "players want to beat their former coach/coach wants to beat his former team" storylines, more important to everyone is the standings. The Panthers have 2 points on Washington, but the Capitals have a game in hand. A win would extend or hold their lead depending on how the Caps fare against the Coyotes tonight. A win would also move them into second place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Sabres, who are not playing tonight. A win for the Devils would move them at least one place up the conference standings.

More from our New Jersey cohorts at In Lou We Trust.
Devils vs Panthers coverage at SB Nation.
TSN Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

The Devils edged the Panthers 2-1 in Florida the day before the trade deadline, but a few days into Dale Tallon's dismantling of Jacques Martin's Panthers. The game followed the trade of team captain Bryan McCabe to the Rangers for Tim Kennedy and a draft pick and an earlier trade of Cory Stillman to Carolina for Ryan Carter and a pick. This game would be the last Panthers appearance for Dennis Wideman, Bryan Allen and Radek Dvorak as all were traded the next day.

Last game

The Panthers edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 at home on Saturday night. Stephen Weiss scored the game winner with 3 minutes to go and picked up the game's first star. Jose Theodore made 41 saves in the win.


Lineup

The Panthers are still dealing with a bevy of injuries. Evgenii Dadonov, Tim Kennedy, Michal Repik and Jacob Markstrom are all up from San Antonio to fill in. Bradley may return Wednesday. Clemmensen and Goc will not return until at least Friday.

Injuries

Healthy Scratches

Starting goaltenders:

Jose Theodore will make the start for the Panthers. He is 7-14-2 against New Jersey all-time with a 2.66 GAA and .909 save percentage and 1 shutout. Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils. He is 14-7-1-3 against Florida with 2.00 GAA and a .917 save percentage and 6 shutouts.

Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Sturm-Santorelli-Dadonov
  3. Bergenheim-Kopecky-Skille
  4. Kennedy-Matthias-Repik
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Jovanovski-Gudbranson/Ellerby
  3. Kulikov-Weaver
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