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Florida Panthers at New Jersey Devils - Game 41 Preview

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Florida: 20-12-8 (48PTS)
New Jersey: 21-16-2 (44PTS)
Season Series: 1-0-1
Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
Television: Fox Sports Florida, MSG+
Radio: 560 WQAM

Tonight the Panthers visit New Jersey for their third game against Pete DeBoer's Devils. The season series has been interesting so far, with Patrik Elias complaining about his team's loss in the first game to what he considered a "one line team" and the Devils coming back from a 2 goal deficit in the second game to win in the shootout, with Elias scoring the game clinching goal. Tonight, Elias plays his 1000th career game and 1000th game as a Devil. Naturally, the Panthers would like to spoil this momentous occasion by picking up a needed two points to extend their current four point division lead on the Washington Capitals.

More from our New Jersey cohorts at In Lou We Trust.
Panthers vs Devils coverage at SB Nation.
SB Nation Preview.
LBC Game Thread will open 30 minutes prior to puck drop.

News and Notes

Last meeting

Ilya Kovalchuk had the shootout winner as the Panthers lost 3-2 at home.

Last game

The Panthers played a tighter game against the Rangers, but were still unable to win. Returning players Mikael Samuelsson and Marcel Goc combined to score a goal for the Panthers in their first game back from injury, but the Panthers were never able to get a lead. They tied it and took the game to overtime, but Marion Gaborik scored the overtime winner for the Rangers.

Lineup

Krys Barch is back from his one-game suspension. Tim Kennedy has been returned to San Antonio. Bill Thomas was put on waivers, so he can be reassigned to San Antonio. With the roster pared back to 21, fans can expect to see John Madden debut as a Panther against his longtime team.

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 Jose Theodore (lower body injury), two weeks

Probable Healthy Scratches

Starting goaltenders:

Johan Hedberg will be starting for the Devils. Scott Clemmensen played a solid game last night, so the Panthers could go either way, starting him for his second game in two days or giving him the day off and starting Jacob Markstrom.

Projected Lines

Forwards
  1. Fleischmann-Weiss-Versteeg
  2. Kopecky-Matthias-Repik
  3. Samuelsson-Goc-Bradley
  4. Barch-Madden-Santorelli
Defense
  1. Campbell-Garrison
  2. Jovanovski-Gudbranson
  3. Kulikov-Weaver