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GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs

Cats open final roadie in the Center of the Hockey Universe

NHL: Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers (33-30-12 78P) at Maple Leafs (44-25-6 94P)

  • WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, ON
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, TSN4
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #LeafsForever, #FLAvsTML, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Pension Plan Puppets
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 4 of 4 (2-1-0)
  • LAST MEETING: @FLA 3, TOR 1 (Recap) - 1/18/2019
  • NEXT MEETING: Playoffs or 2019-20
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Montembeault (4-3-1 .893/ 3.02 0SO) vs Andersen (34-15-5 .918/ 2.72 1SO)
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Toronto

Scouting Report (Courtesy of Field Level Media/AP)

The Florida Panthers will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night with a chance to take the season series between the teams.

The Panthers, who are sitting outside of a playoff spot, have had their share of success this season against the Maple Leafs, who are preparing themselves for a postseason run.

The Panthers have a 4-3 overtime win on Dec. 15 and a 3-1 regulation win on Jan. 18 over Toronto. The Maple Leafs had a 6-1 victory over the Panthers on Dec. 20.

Each team is coming off a home loss Saturday. The Panthers fell 7-3 to the Boston Bruins. The Maple Leafs lost in overtime 2-1 to the New York Rangers.

The Panthers failed to deliver their best game against the Bruins.

”We beat ourselves, 24 turnovers, and their first four goals came off our sticks on turnovers,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “It was stupidity and bad turnovers that ended up in the back of our net.”

”It’s one of those things where we know we have to be better and we know that’s not good enough, especially against good teams,” Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle said.

The Panthers have won five of their past eight games.

The Maple Leafs are 1-1-1 in three games after allowing 23 goals in losing three of the four previous games.

They outshot the Rangers 45-28 Saturday but were foiled by Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev for the second time this season. He stopped 55 shots in a 4-1 Rangers win over the Maple Leafs Jan. 18.

Still, the Maple Leafs are happier with the way they have played the past three games compared with the struggles of the previous four as the team’s defensive play has improved.

”Obviously, that’s the key thing for us,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “We know it, it continues to be a huge thing that we have to work on to get better at. We’ve talked about it every day and we’ll continue to talk about it. I’d like to get us a little more rhythm so we feel better. (Saturday) feels better if you win, that’s the bottom line, but I like the process we’re in and I like how hard guys work.”

Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews had 16 shot attempts Saturday but only four were on goal. Another four were blocked and eight missed being on the net.

Babcock was asked what prevented Matthews from scoring with all those attempts.

“That’s a great question, he had some great looks, really good looks,” the coach said. “I didn’t even realize. ... how many good looks he had until I saw it in the room. Work hard. To me, it’s all process. Just do good things and good things will happen. It doesn’t happen right away all the time, but it’ll happen. I think the adversity we faced here a week ago -- I said at the time and I think it is now -- I think it’s a good thing. Dig in, it’s not supposed to be easy. Dig in.”

”Their goalie has just got our number,” Matthews said. “Somehow he’s just made some unbelievable saves tonight and kept them in it.”

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

  • BUFFALO (31-34-9 71P) at New Jersey (28-39-9 65P) 7 p.m
  • BOSTON (46-20-9 101P) at TAMPA BAY (58-13-4 120P) 7:30 p.m.
  • DETROIT (27-38-10 64P) at San Jose (43-23-9 95P) 10:30 p.m

Idle: MON (88P), OTT (58P)

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