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LBC GameDay Caterwaul: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers

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Home Cookin’: four games from Sunrise in three weeks could soothe the aching back-to-back soul; Petrovic, Bjugstad likely to return tonight vs Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Lightning (22-22-5 49P) vs Panthers (20-19-10 50P)

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  • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 7ish
  • WHERE: BB&T Center - Sunrise, FL
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, SUN Sports
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN
  • TICKETS: Single Game via the Club
  • GOODIES: Book Drive Tonight vs Tampa Bay! Pro Wrestling Night February 9 vs Los Angeles! Bokamper’s Watch Party February 11 vs Nashville! Valentine’s Day Package!
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #TBLightning, #TBLvsFLA, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Raw Charge
  • SB NATION: Game Feature Hub
  • BACK-TO-BACK? (FLA/TB): None/None
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 3 of 4 (1-0-1)
  • ALL-TIME vs TB (RS): 63W-38L-10T 5OTL 8SOL 383GF 335GA
  • ALL-TIME at FLA: 36W-12L-4T 4OTL 5SOL 197GF 157GA
  • LAST FIVE vs TB (RS): 3-1-1 17GF 12GA
  • LAST MEETING: Host FLA 3, TB 1 (Todd’s Recap) - 11/07/2016
  • NEXT MEETING (RS): Saturday, March 11 at Tampa Bay
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Luongo (13-13-6 .921/2.45 1SO) vs Vasilevskiy (11-11-2 .908/2.82 2SO)
  • TALE OF THE TAPE via Left Wing Lock
  • JAGR WATCH: All-time vs TB (RS): 78GP 35G-47A 82P +33 6GWG
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Tampa Bay

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Scouting Report:

Five Eastern Conference teams are in great position to make the postseason: the Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers.

The Ottawa Senators are in good shape to be the sixth team, leaving 10 clubs battling for two spots.

When things are this close, games at hand are important, and that's why a team such as the Toronto Maple Leafs is in a good spot. The Maple Leafs lead the Panthers and Lightning in the points race and also have three games in hand.

The New York Islanders, who made the playoffs last season with 100 points but have struggled this time around, are another team to watch. They are 3-0-1 since firing their coach, and they also have three games in hand on the Panthers and Lightning.

Translation: The Panthers and Lightning have a lot of work to do to dig out of the hole they have created. A win on Thursday could represent one well-placed shovel in an effort to make a difficult climb. (More via Yahoo! Sports/AP)

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Last game by the Cats: 3-2 (OT) loss at Arizona Monday. Last five: 1-2-2 (streak: 4L)

Last game by the Bolts: 5-2 victory in Chicago Tuesday. Last five: 2-2-1 (streak: 1W)

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

  • Pittsburgh (30-12-5 65P) at BOSTON (24-21-6 54P), 7:00
  • MONTREAL (29-13-7 65P) at NY Islanders (20-17-9 49P), 7:00
  • TORONTO (23-14-9 55P) at Philadelphia (24-19-6 54P), 7:00
  • Calgary (24-24-3 51P) at OTTAWA (26-15-5 57P), 7:30
  • BUFFALO (20-18-9 49P) at Dallas (19-20-10 48P), 8:30
  • ALL-STAR BREAK begins tonight - no games until January 31 (OTT at FLA)
  • Idle: DET (49P)

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