CALGARY (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Florida Panthers are riding high with a strong lead in the Atlantic Division.
After having their franchise-record winning streak finally halted at 12 games, the Panthers look to avoid consecutive losses for the first time since Dec. 6 and 8 when they visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
It’s the fifth stop on a six-game road trip for the Panthers, who have not allowed more than two regulation goals in nine straight contests.
Florida was denied in its bid to become the ninth team in league history to win 13 in a row, but it set another club mark by extending its point streak to 13 games.
“We’ve been playing close games a little bit too much instead of taking leads,” Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau said after Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss at Vancouver. “That’s kind of caught up to us … but at least we got a point and are ready for next game.”
Calgary suddenly is having trouble winning at home, dropping four of its last five after setting a franchise mark by winning 11 straight at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Compounding matters is the fact all four defeats have come at the hands of Pacific Division rivals.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, Sportsnet (Calgary)
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (26-12-5): Defenseman Aaron Ekblad is expected to miss his second straight game with a head injury sustained in Sunday’s 2-1 triumph over Edmonton while Roberto Luongo, riding a 10-game point streak (9-0-1), is likely to be in net.
Jaromir Jagr, who scored the winning goal in a 4-3 victory over the Flames on Nov. 10, has points in five straight games and needs three assists to become the sixth NHL player to reach 1,100 for his career.
Huberdeau has collected three goals and three assists during his four-game point streak.
ABOUT THE FLAMES (19-20-2): Forward Lance Bouma’s star-crossed season took another turn for the worse when he was cut by a skate in Monday’s 5-4 loss to San Jose and is expected to be sidelined for a few weeks.
Bouma, who set career highs in goals (16), assists (18) and points (34) last season, suffered the injury in his eighth game after missing more than two months with a broken leg.
Calgary’s power play had converted only two of its previous 18 opportunities before busting out with three goals Monday, including two in a span of 15 seconds.
- Florida is 0-for-11 on the power play over its last five games.
- Flames C Jiri Hudler is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out three games due to a lower-body injury.
- Panthers assistant Mike Kelly will guide the team Wednesday while coach Gerard Gallant attends the funeral of his mother.
The Panthers face the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, January 13th at 9:30 p.m. You can hear every game on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, the radio home of the Florida Panthers.
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