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Ducks at Panthers preview

Florida tries for fifth win in six games; Anaheim 1-4-2 in past seven

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

DUCKS (10-10-2) at PANTHERS (11-5-5)

7 p.m. ET; FS-F, PRIME, NHL.TV


The Game

The Florida Panthers will go for their fifth victory in six games when they face the Anaheim Ducks at BB&T Center on Thursday.

The Panthers, who are 4-1-0 in their past five games and 6-2-1 in their past nine, are coming off a 5-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

Florida's top line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov has combined for 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) in the past nine games.

The Ducks are 1-4-2 in their past seven games. They're coming off a 5-2 loss at the Washington Capitals on Monday.


Players to watch

Ducks forward Rickard Rakell has four points (one goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak.

Panthers center Aleksander Barkov has multiple points in six of his past nine games.


They said it

"We need him. We're a team in transition. We're trying to do a number of things on the fly, and between him and [Ryan Miller], we need them both every night." -- Ducks coach Dallas Eakins on goalie John Gibson

"It's been a good situation. They like playing with one another. Everybody does a little bit something different. But they all have good patience with the puck, they all have play recognition." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville on the top line


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Max Jones

Devin Shore -- Adam Henrique -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Sam Steel -- Troy Terry

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Derek Grant -- Carter Rowney

Michael Del Zotto -- Cam Fowler

Jacob Larsson -- Erik Gudbranson

Brendan Guhle -- Korbinian Holzer

John Gibson

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Ondrej Kase, Josh Mahura

Injured: Josh Manson (lower body), Hampus Lindholm (lower body)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Brian Boyle - Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Denis Malgin - Mike Hoffman

Dominic Toninato -- Noel Acciari -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Anton Stralman

Mark Pysyk -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sam Montembeault

Scratched: None

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body), MacKenzie Weegar (upper body)


Status report

The Ducks did not have a morning skate. … Lindholm is day to day. … Weegar, who will miss his fifth consecutive game, skated the past two mornings but isn't expected back until next week.


Stat pack

Anaheim is 6-0-0 when leading after one period and 0-7-1 when outshooting its opponent. … The Ducks have yet to play in a game that's ended in a shootout this season. …. Gibson's NHL save percentage of .921 is tied for fourth with Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins among goalies with at least 200 games played, behind Johnny Bower, Ken Dryden and Dominik Hasek, who all are at .922. … Florida's 30 third-period goals are second in the NHL.

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