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Florida Panthers at Chicago Blackhawks - Game 46 Preview

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Florida: 21-14-10 (52PTS)
Chicago: 28-13-6 (62PTS)
Season Series: 0-0-1
Game Time: 9 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, Comcast Sports Net Chicago
Radio: 560 WQAM

NOTE: Start time has been changed to 9pm ET due to inclement weather; Game Thread goes live at 8:30.

It's a homecoming of sorts for many Cats tonight as the Panthers visit the United Center in Chicago. Several of the current Panthers won a Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks two seasons ago and some didn't make it to the next to see the Cup banner raised. But after looking to the rafters, it's all business as the Panthers need some points to get themselves separated from the teams in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings. The Washington Capitals have finally started winning games and have tied the Panthers for the Southeast Division lead. The Cats have a number of players returning from injury this week, so with some more disciplined play are in decent position to pick up points tonight and tomorrow night in Winnipeg.

More from our Chicago cohorts at Second City Hockey.
Panthers vs Blackhawks coverage at SB Nation.
SB Nation Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

The Blackhawks beat the Panthers 4-3 in a shootout in Sunrise back in November. Patrick Kane had the shootout winner.

Last game

The Cats blew a two goal lead in the third period to the Avalanche on Wednesday, losing in the shootout 3-2.

Lineup

Michal Repik cleared waivers and was assigned to San Antonio today to make way for three forwards returning from injury. Some combination of Scottie Upshall, Jack Skille and Sean Bergenheim are expected to play tonight while Mike Santorelli will likely be sitting in the press box. Erik Gudbranson is sick and Mikael Samuelsson played defense in his place in practice. However, Gudbranson is expected to play, meaning that one of the returning forwards will also probably be scratched.

Injuries

  • F Scottie Upshall (hip), 11/10, 6 to 8 weeks
  • F Jack Skille (shoulder), 12/16, at least a week
  • F Sean Bergenheim (groin), unknown
  • F Marco Sturm (concussion), unknown
  • G Jacob Markstrom (knee), 1/7, 4 to 6 weeks
  • D Ed Jovanovski (hand), 1/16, week to week

Healthy Scratches

  • F Mike Santorelli
  • F Sean Bergenheim (possible)

Starting goaltenders:

Jose Theodore will probably start against Ray Emery.

Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Samuelsson-Goc-Kopecky
  3. Upshall-Matthias-Skille
  4. Barch-Madden-Bradley
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Kulikov-Ellerby
  3. Gudbranson-Weaver