LBC GameDay Preview: Florida Panthers Vs. St. Louis Blues

Dilip Vishwanat

The Panthers lost their ugliest game of an already too-ugly season earlier to the Blues by a touchdown. Can Florida close the gap and retain some dignity against one of the better Western Conference teams?

Tonight, the Blues of St. Louis will visit the Panthers in Sunrise at the BB&T Center for the two-game, series closing contest this season. The Blues destroyed Florida 7-0 on October 5th. Florida will be closing out a six-game homestand. They've put together a 1-2-2 record thus far, losing at the last second to the Boston Bruins on October 17th, 3-2, defeating the Minnesota Wild, 2-1 in a shootout on the 19th, dropping a shootout on the 22nd to the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, losing to the NHL's worst team, the Buffalo Sabres, 3-1 last Friday night, and extending the Tampa Bay Lightning to the fourth round of a shootout before losing, 4-3 on Sunday. After this matchup, they'll hit the road for a one game trip to Washington, DC for a match with the Capitals tomorrow night.

The Blues are opening a three-game road trip. They'll face the Lightning in Tampa Bay tomorrow night and visit the Habs in Montreal on Tuesday before returning to St. Louis for a five-game homestand.

A Look Back


These two last met on October 5th in St. Louis. The 1-1-0 Panthers were visiting the 2-0-0 Blues in St. Louis. Seven Blues scored one goal a piece while St. Louis netminder Jaroslav Halak stopped all 19 Florida shots for the shutout.

As Jaroslav Halak was setting a St. Louis Blues franchise record for most shutouts, all the goaltender could think about was how well his teammates have played in front of him.

Halak wasn't all that busy Saturday night, but his 19 saves were good enough for his 17th shutout, which passed Glenn Hall for the Blues' franchise record in a 7-0 thumping of the Florida Panthers at Scottrade Center.

Halak, who has played 121 games with the Blues, has 26 NHL shutouts, nine with the Montreal Canadiens. * Full Recap * Box Score


Tonight

GameTime: 7:30 PM ET, FS-MW, FS-FL, WQAM, LBC GameThread at 7PM

All-Time Record: Florida is 7-15-3-1 all-time against St. Louis, a .346 success rate. They've scored 44 goals in 26 games, while allowing 66. It's Florida's worst showing against any team.

Season Series: Last of two meetings. St. Louis leads 1-0-0.

Standings:

Florida Panthers: 3-7-2, .333, eight points, on pace for 55 points. Seventh in the Atlantic Division, 14th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 27th in the NHL. Last five: L-W-O-L-O.

St. Louis Blues: 7-1-2, .800, 16 points, on pace for 131 points. Third in the Central Division, eighth in the Western Conference, tied for 10th in the NHL. Last five: W-O-O-W-W.

Common Thread

New Panthers defenseman Ryan Whitney was recently cut from the Blues training camp roster.

Brad Boyes played 327 games for the Blues over parts of five seasons (105 goals, 126 assists, minus-7 rating). Mike Weaver played 135 games over two seasons with the Blues, scoring one goal with 16 assists and a plus-7 rating.

The Blues currently employ former Cats defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who played 471 games for the Panthers over six seasons (53 goals, 150 assists, minus-27 rating).


Birthdays

Legendary tough guy Tie Domi (3515 PIM) turns 44 year old today.

Probable Starting Lineups

Florida Panthers

Forwards
Defensemen


Goaltenders

St. Louis Blues

Forwards
Defensemen
Goaltenders

Panthers Leaders

Goals

Brad Boyes - 5, Marcel Goc, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau -3

Assists

Tomas Fleischmann - 7, Brian Campbell - 5, Aleksander Barkov - 4

Points

Tomas Fleischmann - 9, Aleksander Barkov, Brad Boyes - 7

Faceoffs

Nick Bjugstad - 55.1% (38-for-69), Marcel Goc - 50.0% (105-for-210), Jesse Winchester - 47.2% (17-of-36)

Shots on Goal

Tomas Fleischmann - 39, Kris Versteeg - 32, Tomas Kopecky -30

Penalty Minutes

Erik Gudbranson - 40, Dmitry Kulikov - 27, Jesse Winchester - 16

Hits

Mike Weaver - 33, Erik Gudbranson - 27, Shawn Matthias, Scottie Upshall - 19

Blocked Shots

Mike Weaver - 31, Erik Gudbranson - 22, Brian Campbell - 20

For the Blues point of view, head on over to St. Louis Game Time. We'll see you back here tonight for the GameThread, live at 7PM.

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