The Florida Panthers find themselves in "The Centre of the Hockey Universe" tonight, looking to shake a two-game losing streak and finish off their current road trip with a winning record. This will be the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season. The Maple Leafs whitewashed the Panthers in Sunrise by a 3-0 count back on February 18th.
Toronto, who currently holds down the six spot in the Eastern Conference, will be looking for two points to help solidify their playoff position as they look to snap a postseason drought that spans seven seasons. The scrappy Maple Leafs (17-12-4) do have a bit of a cushion on the Rangers and Hurricanes but have played more games.
The depleted Panthers, who have only managed two wins in their last ten games, limp into tonight's tilt looking to rebound from tough losses to the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders over the weekend. Florida's anemic offense only mustered a single goal in the two defeats but things are looking up from a defense and goaltending standpoint.
Florida will need to keep a close eye on both Phil Kessel, who has notched six points in his last five times out against the Cats, and Nazem Kadri, who leads Toronto with 35 points. Kadri is currently on a five-game scoring streak where he has posted three goals and seven assists. Oh yeah, and scoring some goals of their own tonight might help too...
Game time from the Air Canada Centre is 7 pm. For all things Maple Leafs, check out our friends over at the splendidly named Pension Plan Puppets. The LBC GameThread gets started at 6:30.