- WHO: Florida Panthers (3GP 2-1 4P) vs Buffalo Sabres (3GP 1-2 2P)
- WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 7ish
- WHERE: BB&T Center - Sunrise, FL
- ON THE TUBE: Fox Sports Florida, Bell-TV, MSG-B
- ON THE RADIO: 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN, 760 ESPN Deportes,1210 WMNA, 97.7 The Wave
- TICKETS: Single game via the club
- ENEMY INTEL: Die By The Blade
- FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 1 of 4 (0-0)
- ALL-TIME vs BUF: 35W-48L-4T 5OTL 2SOL 203GF 237GA
- ALL-TIME vs BUF in FLA: 20W-17L-1T 1OTL 2SOL 111GF 115GA
- PROJECTED STARTERS: Johnson (1-1 .891/2.78) vs Luongo (1-1 .972/1.01)
- PLAYER STATS: Florida / Buffalo
- TWITTER TAGS: #FlaPanthers, #Sabres, #BUFvsFLA, & give us a follow @LitterBoxCats and our FaceBook page
- NOTES: Florida returns home after a quick 1-1 roadie, with a collective 4-2 goal differential in that span - which includes a shutout suffered in Philadelphia on Monday evening. Prized 2015 draftee Jack Eichel (2G, 6SOG) makes his SoFla debut. Easy to write off Buffalo's legitimacy early in the rebuild but there is serious skill up and down the lineup: Matt Moulson, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane and Sam Reinhart are but a few of the gems on an evolving Sabres' roster. Panthers' F Vincent Trocheck remains the team leader in points with 4 (1G-3A) earned on opening night. Closing in with 3 points apiece: Jaromir Jagr (2G), Jussi Jokinen (2G), Reilly Smith (2G), Brandon Pirri (3A) and Aleksander Barkov (1G). On the blue line, Cap'n Mitch has 7 blocked shots; Erik Gudbranson leads the club with 11 hits. The power play remains abhorrent (18.8% success) but the penalty kill is a golden 90.9. Florida is tied for fifth in the NHL with 11GF and third overall in goals against with 3. Imagine if that PP had clicked another time or two... Going to the game? Give the Panthers Booster Club some love behind section 127.
Last game for the Cats: 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes in Raleigh on Tuesday. Past five: 2-1 11GF 3GA (streak: 1W)
Last game for the Sabres: Buffalo notched its first win of the season 4-2 over Columbus Monday at home. Past five: 1-2 6GF 9GA (streak: 1W)
The Florida Panthers went 4-0-1 against the Buffalo Sabres last season, led by forward Nick Bjugstad's three goals. Goalie Roberto Luongo won all four of his starts with a 1.25 goals-against average and .949 save percentage. Sabres defenseman Nikita Zadorov scored 29 seconds into overtime on Dec. 13 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo's lone win.
More (video previews soon to come)
Thursday in the Atlantic Division (Standings / Playoff Chances - coming soon):
- OTTAWA (3-0 6P) at Pittsburgh (0-3 0P), 7:00 p.m.
- NY Rangers (3-1 6P) at MONTREAL (4-0 8P), 7:30
- Dallas (2-1 4P) at TAMPA BAY (3-1 6P), 7:30
- Idle: BOS (1-3 2P), DET (3-0 6P), TOR (0-2-1 1P)
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