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GameDay Caterwaul: Chicago Blackhawks at Florida Panthers

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Scant 27 points separate Saturday combatants

NHL: Florida Panthers at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Blackhawks (48-20-6 102P) at Panthers (32-30-11 75P)

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  • WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 6:30ish
  • WHERE: BB&T Center - Miami Ft. Lauderdale Sunrise, FL
  • TICKETS: via the Club
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, WGN
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #NHLBlackhawks, #CHIvsFLA, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Second City Hockey
  • SB NATION: Game Feature Hub
  • BACK-TO-BACK? (FLA/CHI): None/None
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 2 of 2 (0-0-1)
  • ALL-TIME vs CHI (RS): 10W-17L-3T 0OTL 4SOL 78GF 111GA
  • ALL-TIME at FLA (RS): 5W-8L-1T 0OTL 2SOL 33GF 52GA
  • LAST FIVE vs CHI (RS): 1-2-2 9GF 11GA
  • LAST MEETING: Host CHI 2 - FLA 1 (SO) - (Todd’s Recap) - 11/29/2016
  • NEXT MEETING (RS): 2017-18 season
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Reimer 15-14-5 2.59/.918 0SO) vs Crawford (30-15-3 2.52/.920 2SO)
  • TALE OF THE TAPE via Left Wing Lock
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Chicago

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Scouting Report: One of the few bright spots for the Panthers is the play of the diminutive center Jonathan Marchessault, a 5-foot-9, 163-pounder who leads Florida with 25 goals in 66 games.

Before this season, Marchessault, 26, had just eight goals in 49 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But the Panthers saw some things -- speed and skill, for starters -- and signed Marchessault at a steal of a deal, two years at $750,000 per season.

Marchessault has provided immediate dividends in this 45-points-and-counting first season with Florida.

"He's been great for us," Panthers star Aleksander Barkov said of Marchessault. "He's scored 25 goals - that's amazing." (More via AP)

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Last action from the Cats: 3-1 home victory over Arizona Thursday. Past five: 2-3-0 (streak: 1W)

Last action from the Hawks: 3-2 (SO) home win over Dallas Thursday. Past five: 4-0-1 (streak: 1W)

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

  • TORONTO (35-23-15 85P) at BUFFALO (30-32-12 72P), 7:00
  • OTTAWA (41-24-8 90P) at MONTREAL (41-24-9 91P), 7:00
  • BOSTON (38-30-6 82P) at NY Islanders (35-26-12 82P), 7:00
  • IDLE: TB (81P), DET (70P)

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