The Florida Panthers will open their final homestand of 2013-14 tonight by wrapping up the two-game season series with the Calgary Flames. Like the Cats, the Flames are simply playing out the string and preparing for the draft and the rest of the offseason. Unlike the Panthers, Calgary has been playing some decent hockey as of late, so the home side will need to show up and compete for sixty minutes tonight, unless they want to see their current losing streak grow to five.
The two teams first met back on November 22nd in Calgary, with Flames taking a 4-3 shootout decision at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Panthers rallied from a 3-1 deficit with third period goals from Jimmy Hayes and Marcel Goc to force overtime, but Sean Monahan beat Tim Thomas in round six of the skills competition to give the Flames the bonus point.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Roberto Luongo will back in the Panthers net tonight, providing some much needed stability. I don't really want to see Dan Ellis again until the Cats lineup has been revamped.
Calgary will counter with veteran journeyman Joey MacDonald, giving usual number one Karri Ramo, who beat the Lightning last night, a breather. MacDonald is 4-4-1 this season with a 3.16 GAA.
The Cats will want to keep a watchful eye on Mike Cammalleri, who has 16 points in his last 11 games and is up to 25 goals on the season.
Chill out on the LBC GameThread which comes to life at 7 p.m. tonight, and don't forget to pay a visit to our pal Kevin Kraczkowski over at Matchsticks & Gasoline for more on the Flames.