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GameDay Caterwaul: Florida Panthers vs Columbus Blue Jackets

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Cats welcome Barkov and Hornqvist back; Kiersted to make NHL debut

Columbus Blue Jackets v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Panthers (24-9-4 52P) at Blue Jackets (14-16-8 36P)

  • WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
  • ON THE TUBE: Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Ohio
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM (D/B), 640 WMEN (PB), 1370 WAXE (TC), Thunder 100.3 (Keys)
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #CBJ, #CBJvsFLA, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: The Cannon
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 5 of 8 (3-0-1)
  • LAST MEETING: FLA 5, @CBJ 4 (OT) - (Recap) - 3/11/2021
  • NEXT MEETING: April 4, 2021
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Bobrovsky (14-5-2 .907/ 2.82 0SO) vs Merzlikins (6-6-2 .917 / 2.75 1SO)
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / Columbus

Scouting Report

It wasn’t pretty but the Florida Panthers picked up their fourth straight win against the Detroit Red Wings in overtime on Thursday. They are now tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Central Division. Now they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on their home ice where they have been tremendous this season, posting a record of 12-4-3. Florida leads the series 3-1 and will be hungry for points as they battle for the top spot in the division. Jonathan Huberdeau extended his point streak to four games on Thursday to help fill the void for the shorthanded Panthers. Columbus is desperate for points if they want a shot at the playoffs but Florida should have no problem as they continue their hot streak in this one.

The Blue Jackets were able to pick up a big win and split the series with the Lightning but that has been their only bright spot as of late. They have lost five out of their last six which has their playoff hopes hanging on by a thread. The drop-off in offensive production from Patrik Laine has been a huge blow to the Blue Jackets who are more than likely going to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years. Columbus is only three points out of a playoff spot but with Chicago and Nashville tied for fourth and Dallas only two points behind Columbus, they have very little room for error.

Full preview at Pickswise

Saturday in the Central (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • DETROIT (12-21-5 29P) at TAMPA BAY (25-9-2 52P) 1 p.m.
  • CHICAGO (17-16-5 39P) at NASHVILLE (19-18-1 39P) 3 p.m.
  • DALLAS (12-12-10 34P) at CAROLINA (24-8-3 51P) 7 p.m. NHL Network

Panthers, SoFla Media & Loyal Opposition on the Tweets