MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Florida Panthers attempt to halt their three-game slide when they continue their three-game California road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. Florida, which has scored a total of four goals during its skid (0-1-2), was on the verge of beginning its trek with a victory but ultimately dropped a 3-2 decision to Anaheim in a shootout Wednesday.
Defenseman Erik Gudbranson snapped a tie with 2:03 remaining in the second period, but the Panthers yielded a power-play tally with 5.1 seconds to go in and were outscored 2-1 in the bonus format. San Jose kicked off its four-game homestand with a 5-2 setback against a struggling Columbus squad on Tuesday. Captain Joe Pavelski continued his torrid pace, netting both tallies for the Sharks as he extended his goal-scoring streak to five games. Florida won both meetings with the Sharks last season, including a shootout triumph at San Jose.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (5-4-3): Jaromir Jagr returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing two games with a lower-body injury, registering one shot and a plus-1 rating in 18 minutes, 23 seconds of ice time. Rocco Grimaldi made the most of his homecoming, scoring his second career goal in his second of the season. Born in Anaheim, the 22-year-old center netted one tally in seven contests last campaign — his first in the NHL.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (6-6-0): San Jose reduced its roster by two Wednesday, assigning defenseman Karl Stollery and right wing Barclay Goodrow to the American League’s San Jose Barracuda. Goodrow recorded three assists in 12 games with the Sharks, while Stollery has yet to make his season debut. Joe Thornton notched an assist Tuesday for his 1,267th career point, tying him with Jean Ratelle for 35th place on the all-time list.
1. The Panthers are 5-0-0 when scoring three or more goals and 0-4-3 when netting two or fewer.
2. Pavelski has scored three of San Jose’s five game-winning goals.
3. Three of Florida RW Reilly Smith’s four goals this season have come on the play.
PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Panthers 2
(© Copyright 2015 SportsDirect Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)