SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers will look to bounce back from consecutive home losses on Thursday night, when they host the dangerous Columbus Blue Jackets at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
Thursday’s clash will be game 4 of the Panthers current 5-game home stand, where they’ve gone 1-1-1 so far. On Monday, the Panthers had no trouble scoring goals, but fell 8-5 to the Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
After Tampa’s fifth goal, Florida netminder James Reimer was replaced midway through the second period by backup Antti Niemi, who gave up two tallies in his Panthers’ debut.
Florida will turn back to Reimer on Thursday, and he’ll look for his 4th win (3-3-1) on the young season.
The Panthers are off to a 4-6-1 start and sit 6th place in the Atlantic Division with 9 points.
The Blue Jackets are 8-4-0 and rank 3rd in the Metropolitan Division at 16 points.
Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is off to a hot start with a 7-2 record. He sits 3rd in the NHL in wins, 6th in save percentage at .934, and 6th in goals against average at 1.97 per game. He’s given up 5 goals over his past 3 games.
Aleksander Barkov had a 4-point night against Tampa Bay on Monday with a goal and 3 assists. The Finnish top-line center sits tied for the Panthers’ team lead with 14 points, and he’s third on the team with 4 goals. Florida’s entire top line played top-notch against Tampa, with Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgeni Dadanov each adding a goal and 2 assists. The top line combined for 10 points that night.
Blue Jacket to watch
Columbus has a trio of surging skaters that the Panthers will need to account for. Josh Anderson, Alexander Wennberg, and Matt Calvert have each recorded 6 points over their past 8 games.
Faceoff for Panthers-Blue Jackets is set for 7:30 PM on Thursday, November 2nd at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. You can listen to the game on 560 WQAM.