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GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars

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Cats look to keep the unlikely dream alive

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

Panthers (32-28-12 74P) at Stars (37-29-6 80P)

  • WHEN: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Southwest
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #GoStars, #FLAvsDAL, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Defending Big D
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 2 of 2 (0-1-0)
  • LAST MEETING: DAL 3, @FLA 0 - (Recap) - 2/12/2019
  • NEXT MEETING: Stanley Cup or 2019-20
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Montembeault (4-1-1 .900/2.49 0SO) vs Bishop (24-14-2 .933/2.05 6SO)
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Dallas

Scouting Report (Courtesy of Field Level Media/AP)

The Dallas Stars will try to shrug off a loss in their first shootout of the season and continue their march toward the playoffs when they host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday at the American Airlines Center

The Stars (37-29-6, 80 points) are just two points out of third place in the Central Division and two points up on Arizona -- and three ahead of Minnesota -- in the Western Conference wild card race with 10 games to go in the regular season.

That makes every point important. Dallas was able to fight back and earn one point in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout defeat to Vancouver on Sunday, and that point looms large.

”Loved our effort, a lot of our execution was good, and we made a lot of plays,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said afterward. “We generated numerous opportunities to win that game. We just weren’t able to finish. So, a lot of good things; just wish we had two points.”

Jamie Benn and Taylor Fedun scored the Stars’ goals in regulation play in the loss to Vancouver, the latter coming with 3:50 to play in the game.

Heading into Sunday game Dallas, and Toronto were the only two teams in the league that hadn’t gone to a shootout this season -- now, it’s just the Maple Leafs. It was also Montgomery’s first as an NHL coach.

”Obviously a little weird, the first one,” Dallas center Tyler Seguin told NHL.com. “Personally, I’d like to go three-on-three until someone scores. I’ve never loved the shootout. I’ve loved three-on-three. That’s how it is right now. It was a good overtime.”

Winger Blake Comeau and goaltender Ben Bishop did not play for Dallas on Sunday, both due to lower-body injuries. Both of the players are considered day-to-day, according Montgomery.

Florida (32-28-12, 76 points) heads to Big D on the heels of a 3-2 loss at Anaheim on Sunday in the second game of a road back-to-back. The defeat snapped the Panthers’ four-game win streak and left them eight points behind Columbus for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Evgenii Dadonov and Aaron Ekblad had Florida’s goals in the loss, with Ekblad’s tally early in the third period tying the game. The Panthers strafed Anaheim’s defense with 71 shots attempts and ended up with a 39-22 advantage on shots on goal.

”The guys played hard,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “We were a little bit sluggish at the start and got better as the game went on. We had our chances, and we hit four or five posts. We didn’t get our bounce tonight, but definitely the effort was there.”

Florida is 9-4-4 over its past 17 games, but the loss to Anaheim was a real killer, especially with time running out in the season.

“It’s tough -- we couldn’t afford a loss tonight, but it happened,” Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau said. “It’s tough to swallow. We had our chances, and they didn’t go in. That’s what hockey’s all about.”

With two assists against the Ducks, Huberdeau moved past Viktor Kozlov’s franchise record for most assists in a single season with 55. He had the primary assists on both Dadonov and Ekblad’s goals to set the team mark. Huberdeau already has a career-high 78 points this season.

Dallas defeated the Panthers 3-0 on Feb. 12 in Sunrise, Fla., in the teams’ only other meeting this season.

Tuesday in the Atlantic (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • BOSTON (43-20-9 95P) at New York Islanders (42-23-7 91P) 7 p.m.
  • DETROIT (25-27-10 60P) at New York Rangers (33-16-6 72P) 7 p.m.
  • MONTREAL (37-28-7 81P) at Philadelphia (35-29-8 78P) 7 p.m.
  • TORONTO (43-24-5 91P) at Nashville (41-27-5 87P) 8 p.m.

Idle: TBL (116P), BUF (71P), OTT (56P)

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