LBC GameDay Preview: Florida Panthers Vs. Edmonton Oilers

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers visit Alberta for round two with the Oilers. Can Florida avenge a 4-3 overtime loss from two weeks ago or will the vaunted "young guns" of Edmonton have the answer for Tim Thomas?

Tonight, the Panthers will visit the Edmonton Oilers in Rexall Place for the second of two meetings this season. The Panthers lost to the Oilers, 4-3 in overtime on November 5th. For the Panthers, tonight is the fourth game of a five-game Western Conference road trip. The Panthers started it by losing to the Minnesota Wild, 3-2 on Friday. They've since won two straight, 4-1 over the Avalanche on Saturday and 3-2 in the shootout against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. They'll finish it off with a matchup against the Calgary Flames tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are hosting the second game of a three-game homestand. They started out with a 7-0 destruction of the supposedly evenly-matched Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday and finish up on Monday versus the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Oilers and the Panthers last squared off on November 5th in Sunrise. The 3-8-3 Cats and the 3-10-2 Oilers were both underperforming and equally desparate for a win. Scottie Upshall potted two, Marcel Goc added a goal and an assist, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 23-of-26 shots to get Florida to overtime. Philip Larsen, Mark Arcobello and Taylor Fedun all scored their first goals of the season, Boyd Gordon tabbed three assists, and Arcobello added the game-winner with two minutes gone in the extra frame. Devan Dubnyk earned the victory for the Oilers, stopping 20 shots. * Full Recap * Box Score

Oilers @ Panthers Highlights 11/05/13 (via NHL)

Upshall spoke later about his game:

When things don't go your way, it seems like the world is kind of crashing down. It was nice to chip in. I love playing on our line. [Jesse Winchester] is gritty and [Nick] Bjugstad is a big body. I find I usually play more successful with guys that bang and check and go to the net hard, and it's kind of the way we've been playing. It's not good enough, but it's getting there.

The Copper & Blue has your Oilers.

In Florida's last game, the Panthers won their second-straight for the first time in the 2013-14 season, defeating the Canucks, 3-2 in the shootout. Brad Boyes (8) opened the scoring on the power play less than four minutes in with assists from Sasha Barkov and Upshall. After Vancouver scored once each in the beginning of the second and third periods (Chris Higgins (7) and Jannik Hansen (3)), Shawn Matthias (3) tied it on a pretty cross-ice pass from Nick Bjugstad. After a scoreless overtime, Jonathan Huberdeau beat Roberto Luongo in the first round of the shootout, giving Florida the win. Thomas stopped 27-of-29 shots, while Luongo stopped 34-of-36. * Full Recap * Box Score

Panthers @ Canucks Highlights 11/19/13 (via NHL)

Thomas spoke about helping Florida earn their first ever victory at Rogers Arena:

I don't think having it be here is a factor. It's more that we'd won two of three coming into this, we'd been putting some good efforts together, playing some quality teams, getting some points and just to be able to keep it going to make it three in four and win back-to-back games for the first time this year was huge. So, it's not so much about being here as that was a result we needed.

For more on the Canucks, go to Nucks Misconduct.

The Oilers defeated the Blue Jackets, 7-0 in their last game. David Perron led 11 Oilers on the scoresheet with two goals and two assists while goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped all 14 of Columbus' shots for the shutout. * Full Recap * Box Score

Blue Jackets @ Oilers Highlights 11/19/13 (via NHL)

Oilers coach Dallas Eakins spoke later about giving the home crowd something to cheer for:

The wins have been few and far between, and to have a game like that, especially at home, it's good for us. But, more importantly, it's good for our fans. They've been suffering just as much as we have. It's nice to give them something to go home feeling good.

To read about Columbus, head over to the The Cannon.

Game Time: 9:30 PM ET

Broadcast: FS-F, SNET-EDM

All-Time Series:
The Panthers are 8-8-3-4 all-time against the Oilers.

Season Series: Second of two meetings. Edmonton is 1-0-0, Florida is 0-0-1.

Standings


Florida Panthers: 6-12-4, .364, 16 points, on pace for 60 points. Seventh in the Atlantic Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference, 28th in the NHL. Last Five: L-W-L-W-W.

Edmonton Oilers: 6-15-2, .304, 14 points, on pace for 50 points. Seventh in the Pacific Division, 14th in the Western Conference, 29th in the NHL. Last Five: L-L-L-W-W.

This Date in Panthers History

The Panthers are 6-2-1 on all November 21st's since the beginning of time.

1995 - Panthers 4, Devils 3
1998 - Panthers 3, Devils 3
2000 - Panthers 4, Canadiens 1
2001 - Panthers 6, Ducks 0
2003 - Thrashers 6, Panthers 3
2007 - Panthers 5, Blue Jackets 2
2008 - Bruins 4, Panthers 2
2009 - Panthers 3, Rangers 2
2011 - Panthers 4, Devils 3

Common Thread

Florida blueliner Tom Gilbert played six seasons in Edmonton, scoring 33 goals with 125 assists in 384 contests.

10-year NHL veteran turned Oilers coach Dallas Eakins played 18 games for the Panthers tabbing one assist and spending 35 minutes in the box.

Probable Lineups

Panthers

Forwards
Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Tomas Fleischmann
Scottie Upshall - Aleksander Barkov - Brad Boyes
Tomas Kopecky - Marcel Goc - Jesse Winchester
Jimmy Hayes - Shawn Matthias - Krys Barch

Defensemen
Brian Campbell - Tom Gilbert
Erik Gudbranson - Dmitry Kulikov
Mike Mottau - Matt Gilroy

Goaltenders
Tim Thomas - Scott Clemmensen

Oilers

Forwards
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - David Perron
Luke Gazdic - Will Acton - Jesse Joensuu

Defensemen
Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry
Anton Belov - Justin Schultz
Nick Schultz - Corey Potter

Goaltenders
Devan Dubnyk - Ilya Bryzgalov

Special Teams

Team PP Rate PP Rank PK Rate PK Rate
Panthers 10.4% 30th 79.4% 22nd
Oilers 20.3% 11th 81.9% 19th

Panthers Leaders

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
Goals Brad Boyes 8 Jonathan Huberdeau 5 Marcel Goc 5
Assists Brian Campbell 9 Tomas Fleischmann 9 Scottie Upshall 7
Points Brian Campbell 12 Tomas Fleischmann 12 Jonathan Huberdeau 11
Shots on Goal Tomas Fleischmann 54 Tomas Kopecky 51 Brad Boyes 47
Faceoffs Marcel Goc 53.9% Nick Bjugstad 49.1% Sasha Barkov 48.0%
Hits Erik Gudbranson 56 Mike Weaver 48 Scottie Upshall 39
Blocked Shots Mike Weaver 45 Erik Gudbranson 37 Tom Gilbert 33

Oilers Leaders

Category First Second Third
Goals David Perron 7 Jordan Eberle 6 Taylor Hall 6
Assists Jordan Eberle 12 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10 Mark Arcobello 10
Points Jordan Eberle 18 David Perron 17 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 15
Shots on Goal David Perron 71 Jordan Eberle 63 Taylor Hall 53
Faceoffs Boyd Gordon 57.6% Mark Arcobello 52.2% Will Acton 52.1%
Hits Jeff Petry 59 Andrew Ference 57 Ladislav Smid 52
Blocked Shots Jeff Petry 48 Boyd Gordon 38 Nick Schultz 35

Thanks for reading today's preview. Tune in for the Game Thread, going live at 9 PM. You can read more on today's tilt over at The Copper & Blue.

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