Panthers (20-8-4 44P) at Blackhawks (15-13-5 35P)
- WHEN: 8:00 p.m. ET
- WHERE: United Center, Chicago, IL
- ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, NBCSCH
- ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 850 WFTL (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
- SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #Blackhawks, #FLAvsCHI, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
- ENEMY INTEL: Second City Hockey
- FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 6 of 8 (4-1-0)
- LAST MEETING: @CHI 3, FLA 2 (Recap) - 3/23/2021
- NEXT MEETING: April 29, 2021
- PROJECTED STARTERS: Bobrovsky (12-4-2 .903 / 2.97 0SO) vs Lankinen (11-7-4 .915/ 2.83 1SO)
- PLAYER STATS: Florida / Chicago
On Tuesday night the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Florida Panthers 3-2, but the Panthers still lead the season series 4-1 and will have another crack at the Blackhawks on Thursday night. Florida is 10-4-1 on the road this season and has become a scoring machine this year; this team is top 10 in goals per game average with 3.31 and have the sixth-best powerplay unit in the NHL at 26 percent. In the loss to Chicago on Tuesday, the Panthers had backup goalie Chris Driedger in net. He allowed three goals on 32 shots, but on Thursday they will have starter Sergei Bobrovsky back between the pipes with his .903 save percentage. Top goal-scorer Aleksander Barkov did miss the game Tuesday and is not expected back Thursday, but his teammates have enough depth to help out if he is gone. Jonathan Huberdeau has four point in his last five games and is now a top winger in the NHL. The Panthers will want to start piling up the wins to separate themselves from the Blackhawks in the Central Division standings.
Chicago is 3-6-1 in their last 10 games as their hot start to the season is falling apart. Although they have the third-best power play unit at 28.2 percent, they are a bottom five penalty killing team at 72 percent. There is no consistency to their game which could be due to their captain Jonathan Toews out for the season. Patrick Kane has cooled off with only one goal in his last 10 games and leading goal-scorer Alex DeBrincat has one goal in his last five. The Blackhawks have lost four of their last five and the Panthers will be looking to make up for a bad loss on Tuesday.
Full Preview at Pickswise
Thursday in the Central (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances):
- CAROLINA (21-7-3 24P) at COLUMBUS (13-13-7 33P) 7 p.m. ESPN+
- DETROIT (10-19-4 24P) at NASHVILLE (15-17-1 31P) 8 p.m.
- TAMPA BAY (24-6-2 50P) at DALLAS (10-11-8 28P) 8:30 p.m.
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