The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a new look to their second line, with Richard Panik playing right wing with center Nazem Kadri and left wing James van Riemsdyk on Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"Those players are really good on the puck," Panik told the Maple Leafs website. "So hopefully we'll get some chances and score."
Panik certainly would like to contribute offensively; he has one goal in his past 10 games. Playing with elite offensive talents like Kadri and van Riemsdyk certainly won't hurt.
"I think he [Kadri] can find you anywhere," Panik said. "I've got to be prepared for the pass from anywhere. I'm going to try to shoot the puck and try to make some scoring chances for him."
Panik said he'd like to create offense, but he also knows there has to be more of a defensive mindset if the Maple Leafs hope to end their three-game losing streak. The Maple Leafs have allowed 14 goals in the past three games, and an average of 31.7 shots per game.
"I think we've got to start focusing more on the [defensive] zone," he said. "We know we can score goals but we can't give up 40 [shots] a night. We've started focusing on it. If you're going to stick with it we'll have success."
The Blue Jackets, who have won two straight and four of their past five, will use the same lineup from their win Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. That includes goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 24 saves in Columbus' 4-2 win.
Here are the projected lineups:
Scott Hartnell - Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Sean Collins - Alexander Wennberg - Jack Skille
Jeremy Morin - Mark Letestu - Jared Boll
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Kevin Connauton - James Wisniewski
Cody Goloubef - Fedor Tyutin
Scratched: Corey Tropp, Dalton Prout, Jordan Leopold
Injured: Artem Anisimov (torn triceps), Brian Gibbons (knee), Nathan Horton (back), Boone Jenner (back), Ryan Murray (knee)
Daniel Winnik - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Richard Panik
Leo Komarov - Mike Santorelli - David Clarkson
David Booth - Trevor Smith - Troy Bodie
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Franson
Morgan Rielly - Roman Polak
Jake Gardiner - Stephane Robidas
Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Greg McKegg, Sam Carrick
Injured: Peter Holland (upper body), Joffrey Lupul (lower body)
Status report: After playing 10 straight games in December, Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards has reduced Bobrovsky's playing time a bit, starting him three times in the past five games. … Bernier will start for the second straight game. He allowed five goals on 25 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.
Who's hot: Johansen has four goals and five assists in his eight-game scoring streak. He also has goals in four straight.