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LBC GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars

Big D hosts final match of 2016

NHL: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers (15-14-8 38P) at Stars (16-14-7 39P)

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  • WHEN: 8:00 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 7ish
  • WHERE: American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Southwest
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN
  • GOODIES: Celebrate Jaromir Jagr Night January 6th vs Nashville! (details) PanthersPalooza III on January 14! (details)
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #Stars, #FLAvsDAL, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Defending Big D
  • SB NATION: Game Feature Hub
  • BACK-TO-BACK? (FLA/DAL): No/No
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 1 of 2 (0-0)
  • ALL-TIME vs DAL (RS): 14W-13L-3T 0OTL 1SOL 87GF 90GA
  • ALL-TIME at DAL (RS): 8W-5L-2T 0OTL 0SOL 53GF 43GA
  • LAST FIVE vs DAL (RS): 2-2-1 14GF 14GA
  • LAST MEETING: FLA 6 at DAL 2 (Todd’s Recap) - 10/24/2015
  • NEXT MEETING: Saturday 03/04/17 at Sunrise
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Luongo (11-9-5 .920/2.42 0SO), Niemi (7-4-4 .910/2.87 0SO)
  • TALE OF THE TAPE via Left Wing Lock
  • JAGR WATCH: All-time vs DAL (RS): 33GP 15G-18A 33P -1 2GWG
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Dallas

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Scouting Report:

For Florida, which dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Montreal at the BB&T Center on Thursday, winning in Dallas appears to be crucial - especially considering the Panthers have dropped 10 of their last 13 games.

And for a club rocked by injuries so far this season, getting forward Reilly Smith (concussion) back on Saturday could be just the boost the Panthers need. "Again, we had to use a lot of our top guys for penalties," Florida interim coach Tom Rowe said after the loss to the Canadiens. "We got a lot of penalties in the beginning. I had to only use four guys and that really hurts them. They got to short shift the rest of the way. It catches up to you at some point in time."

Smith is one of four Panthers with Dallas ties. Defenseman Jason Demers, who has already equaled his career high with seven goals this season, and centers Jaromir Jagr and Colton Sceviour also once suited up for the Stars. Despite Florida struggling in its past 13 games, the Panthers still have a respectable road record of 6-8-5 away from Sunrise.

Rowe opted to not hold practice on Friday before he and his team hopped a plane to the Lone Star State. The Panthers made several roster moves on Friday, including recalling forward Greg McKegg from Springfield of the American Hockey League. McKegg has already appeared in 19 NHL games this season.

Florida also placed Aleksander Barkov on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. Rowe said Barkov should miss two to three weeks. The Panthers also sent young forward Kyle Rau to the AHL. (More via Yahoo! Sports/AP)

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Last game for the Cats: 3-2 (OT) loss at Sunrise vs Montreal. Last five: 1-1-3 (streak: 4L)

Last game for the Stars: 4-2 victory over Colorado Thursday. Last five: 4-0-1 (streak: 3W)

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

  • BUFFALO (13-14-8 34P) at BOSTON (19-15-4 42P), 1:00
  • MONTREAL (22-9-5 49P) at Pittsburgh (24-8-5 53P), 7:00
  • Carolina (16-12-7 39P) at TAMPA BAY (18-15-4 40P), 7:00
  • Idle: OTT (44P), TOR (39P), DET (36P)

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