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LBC GameDay Caterwaul: Lightning at Panthers

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Game 48: With three points of separation, the long over-employed "Battle of Florida" tag finally carries some truth

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Lightning (26-17-4 56P) at Florida Panthers (27-15-5 59P)

  • WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 6:30ish
  • WHERE: BB&T Center - Miami Ft Lauderdale Sunrise, FL
  • TICKETS: Single Game via the Club
  • PROMOTIONS: Panther Conservation Night

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  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 4 of 5 (2-1)
  • ALL-TIME vs TBL: 60W-38L-10T 5OTL 7SOL 367GF 326GA
  • ALL-TIME at FLA: 34W-12L-4T 4OTL 5SOL 189GF 154GA
  • LAST FIVE vs TBL: 2-3-0 10GF 15GA

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  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Luongo (20-13-4 .929/2.12 4SO), Bishop (19-13-3 .928/1.94 2SO)
  • JAGR WATCH: All-time vs TBL (regular season): 30GP 14G-14A 28P 2GWG
  • PLAYER STATS: FloridaTampa Bay

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Notable:

Catch FS-FLA's latest episode of "Inside The Panthers: A Pirate's Life", focusing on AHL partner Portland, immediately following the game (on a personal note, this year's crop of "ITP" has been outstanding in quality and content; a major leap forward from recent seasons).

NHL.com Preview:

[Brandon] Pirri, who was a healthy scratch against Chicago, is expected to return Saturday. Coach Gerard Gallant dispelled rumors Pirri was on the trading block and said sitting him was performance-based. "He's a goal scorer. You want to have those guys in your lineup, but over the last while he hasn't scored and he hasn't competed the way we wanted him to," Gallant said.  (More)

Yahoo.com Preview:

The rising Lightning can match a franchise record with an eighth consecutive win in Saturday night's showdown with a Panthers team bolstered by Ekblad's return. Tampa Bay (26-17-4) has closed within three points of the Panthers' lead atop the Atlantic Division by recording its longest winning streak since an eight-game run from Feb. 23-Mar. 6, 2004, the year of the club's lone Stanley Cup championship. [Nikita] Kucherov has at least one point in each of those wins and scored in a third straight game during Thursday's 2-1 victory over Chicago, breaking a 1-all tie with a power-play goal in the second period.  (More)

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Last game for the Cats: 4-0 victory over Chicago in Sunrise mere hours ago. Past five: 1-3-1 9GF 16GA (streak: 1W)

Last game for the Bolts: 2-1 (reg) win over visiting Chicago on Thursday. Past five: 5-0-0 20GF 10GA (streak: 7W)

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Saturday in the Atlantic Division (Standings / Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • Columbus (17-27-4 38P) at BOSTON (24-17-5 53P), 7:00
  • MONTREAL (23-20-4 50P) at TORONTO (17-20-8 42P), 7:00 NHLN
  • Anaheim (20-18-7 47P) at DETROIT (24-15-8 56P), 7:00
  • Idle: OTT (50P), BUF (42P)

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Panthers, SoFla Media & Loyal Opposition on the Tweets

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