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Saturday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers GameDay Open Forum

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A sixth-round pick by Buffalo in 1997 - current Sabres GM Darcy Regier's first season in that capacity - Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell (center above) remains second in league scoring by blueliners with 47 points (3G), trailing Ottawa's entry-level wonder Erik Karlsson by a mind-numbing 24 (and good luck with that contract re-negotiation Mr. Murray...he's an RFA in July). "Soup" has collected a somewhat pedestrian 1A & 2 SOG in five games against his former team as a member of the Blackhawks, Sharks, and Panthers. With a 3-point effort Thursday, Campbell's logged five games with three points or better in 2011-12.

The Eastern Front

Rank

Team

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

GF

GA

Home

Away

L10

Streak

1

NY Rangers

70

44

19

7

95

194

155

24-8-2

20-11-5

5-4-1

Lost 1

2

Ottawa

72

37

25

10

84

220

210

19-13-4

18-12-6

5-3-2

Won 1

3

Florida

70

34

23

13

81

177

195

19-9-8

15-14-5

6-3-1

Won 3

4

Pittsburgh

69

43

21

5

91

224

175

24-8-2

19-13-3

10-0-0

Won 10

5

Philadelphia

70

41

22

7

89

226

199

18-10-5

23-12-2

8-2-0

Won 2

6

New Jersey

71

41

25

5

87

196

182

20-12-3

21-13-2

6-3-1

Won 1

7

Boston

70

40

27

3

83

225

176

20-13-2

20-14-1

3-7-0

Lost 4

8

Washington

71

36

29

6

78

191

200

23-10-3

13-19-3

6-3-1

Lost 1

9

Winnipeg

71

34

29

8

76

189

199

23-10-4

11-19-4

5-3-2

Won 2

10

Buffalo

71

33

29

9

75

178

201

18-11-8

15-18-1

6-2-2

OT 1

11

Tampa Bay

70

32

31

7

71

198

237

21-12-2

11-19-5

5-4-1

Lost 1

12

Toronto

71

31

32

8

70

205

218

16-13-6

15-19-2

2-7-1

Won 1

13

Carolina

71

27

29

15

69

185

211

18-13-6

9-16-9

4-3-3

Won 1

14

Montreal

72

28

32

12

68

189

200

13-15-8

15-17-4

4-4-2

OT 1

15

NY Islanders

71

28

32

11

67

166

214

15-16-6

13-16-5

2-5-3

Lost 1

*

Why last night rocked:

  • WPG over WSH, 3-2 (REG): Jets thankfully performed as predicted at home within 60 minutes; five of next eight games on road. Oh, and did we mention the regulation aspect?

Why last night jonesed:

  • OTT over MTL 2-1 (OT): if this is the price we pay for a once-per-lifetime New Years Eve victory against the Habs, well, Ole.

Panthers Playoff Update:

Why tonight is a Big Deal in SoFla, beyond the obvious:

Focusing on clubs within 5 points of Panthers (81P); teams FLA needs to lose in bold…

  • PHI at BOS (83P), 1 p.m.: Broons have lost four straight, Flyers 7-1 in past eight
  • TOR at OTT (84P), 7: Sens lead season series 3-2 but outscored by Leafs 17-16

Next up for the Cats:

  • Hosting the Sabres tonight at BAC in the closer of a 4-game homestand; LBC Game Thread asks Eckhardt to think about the future at 7. Need Seats? Tickets starting at $7 via TiqIQ.

Did you know:

  • Jose Theodore has an 11-14-2 record (1 SO, .901) vs BUF while Scott Clemmensen is 2-0-1 (.892)

Friday’s Organizational News:

  • F Kris Versteeg and D Dmitry Kulikov expected to play tonight
  • F Michal Repik scored San Antonio's only goal while Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots in a 3-1 Rampage loss to Abbotsford, but outside of team management, who really cared on Dollar Drink Night?
  • Florida prospect G Sam Brittain's 67 saves in a double overtime victory on Friday were monumental for more than a few reasons as the Denver Pioneers plow ahead

Tonight’s college playoff action on NBC Sports Network

  • Hockey East Championship Game: Maine vs Boston College, 8 p.m. (no FLA prospects)