Panthers (17-5-4 38P) vs Blackhawks (14-9-5 33P)
- WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
- WHERE: BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
- ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, NBCSCH, ESPN+
- ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 850 WFTL (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
- SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #Blackhawks, #CHIvsFLA, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
- ENEMY INTEL: Second City Hockey
- FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 3 of 8 (2-0-0)
- LAST MEETING: @FLA 5, CHI 4 (Recap) - 1/19/2021
- NEXT MEETING: March 15, 2021
- PROJECTED STARTERS: Bobrovsky (10-2-2 .903 / 3.01 0SO) vs Lankinen (10-4-4 .919/ 2.72 0SO)
- PLAYER STATS: Florida / Chicago
The Central Division has become the most exciting to follow, with seven teams having a reasonable chance at making the playoffs. Two of those teams will play the first of a back-to-back matchup on Saturday. The Chicago Blackhawks have lost two of their last three games and will head to Florida to play the red-hot Panthers. Florida has won four of their last five games and have the highest goals scored average over this stretch with 4.4 goals per game. The Panthers are doing more than scoring, as starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has found his game and is playing to his elite level with a .912 save percentage over his last four games–all of which he has won. Aleksander Barkov has been making some dazzling plays and putting points up at a high rate with six in his last five games. He is crediting his success this year to his new winger Carter Verhaeghe, who has nine goals on the year and is plus-10. Verhaeghe’s smart play and puck control is allowing Barkov to take those chances and create offense.
Chicago was playing great hockey but the injury bug has hit them and now it is affecting their lineup. With Dylan Strome out due to a concussion, Carl Soderberg has been forced to move up the lineup–which has not worked out. He is minus-4 over his last five games and is not creating any offense. Patrick Kane has had a great couple of weeks with his 400th goal and 1000th game played, but since his historic goal five games ago he has not lit the lamp at all.
Full Preview at Pickswise
- DALLAS (8-9-5 21P) at COLUMBUS (10-12-6 26P) 5:00 p.m.
- NASHVILLE (11-15-1 23P) at TAMPA BAY (18-5-2 38P) 7 p.m.
Idle: CAR (39P), DET (20P)
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