Minnesota Wild at Florida Panthers - Game 59 Preview

Florida: 27-20-11 (65PTS)
Minnesota: 26-24-9 (61PTS)
Game Time: 7:30 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, FS-N, FS-WI
Radio: 560 WQAM

Once again, the Panthers sit first in the Southeast Division by virtue of a tie-breaker, but they are no longer tied with the Washington Capitals. It is the Winnipeg Jets who have passed the Capitals and tied the Panthers in points. The Cats had some help after losing on Sunday. The Flyers kept the Jets to one point and the Sens beat up on the Capitals last night, winning 5-2. The Panthers need to help themselves tonight if they want to hold their lead. If it weren't for the one to three seeding for division leaders, the Cats would be in a three-way tie for seventh with the Leafs and Jets. All three teams play at home tonight: The Cats host the Wild, the Jets host the Lightning and the Leafs host the Sharks. The Panthers don't see the Wild very often, but did win their lone game against them last season. Current Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore was in net for the Wild that evening.

More from our Minnesota cohorts at Hockey Wilderness.
Wild vs Panthers coverage at SB Nation.
SB Nation Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

Chris Higgins and Mike Santorelli scored and Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves in a 2-1 win over the visiting Wild in November 2010.

Last game

The Panthers fell short again, losing 2-0 to the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

Lineup

Nolan Yonkman was reassigned to San Antonio today. Ed Jovanovski is expected to return in his place this evening. Matt Bradley sustained a concussion in Sunday's game against the Ducks. Both Michal Repik and Jon Matsumoto were recalled today from the Rampage. Word is that Marcel Goc left practice early yesterday and will not play tonight. Jason Garrison is skating again with the team, but it is not known when he is expected to play.

Injuries

Possible Scratches

  • F Marcel Goc

Starting goaltenders:

Jose Theodore is expected to start against his former team, opposite Nicklas Backstrom.

Projected Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Bergenheim-Matthias-Samuelsson
  3. Kopecky-Santorelli-Skille
  4. Barch-Matsumoto-Repik
Defense
  1. Campbell-Gudbranson
  2. Jovanovski-Ellerby
  3. Strachan-Weaver
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