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Panthers at Ducks preview

Florida ends three-game road trip through California at Anaheim

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

PANTHERS (7-10-2) at DUCKS (8-7-3)

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

 

The Game

The Florida Panthers end a three-game California road trip against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday.

Goalie Roberto Luongo is expected to start for the Panthers, who have split the first two games of their trip including a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Luongo is 9-12-3 against the Ducks in his NHL career. His 3.02 goals-against average is the highest against any team in the League and his .903 save percentage is the lowest.

Goalie John Gibson is expected to start for the Ducks, who conclude a five-game homestand (2-1-1). Gibson allowed six goals on 17 shots before being replaced at the start of the third period of an 8-3 loss at the Panthers on Oct. 26. Florida is the only team Gibson has yet to earn a point against in his NHL career (0-3-0, 4.37 GAA, .863 save percentage).

 

Players to watch

Forward Jonathan Huberdeau leads the Panthers with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists). He is coming off back-to-back pointless games for the first time this season.

Forward Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks with 15 points (six goals, nine assists), including eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past six games. He has one assist in eight games against Florida.

 

They said it

"It comes down to the small battles, and how much you want to win those battles." -- Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson

"Hopefully we can build off a strong game (Sunday) and carry it through into next week." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.

 

Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Dryden Hunt -- Vincent Trocheck -- Nick Bjugstad

Jamie McGinn -- Chase Balisy -- Colton Sceviour

Micheal Haley -- Curtis Valk -- Connor Brickley

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

Ian McCoshen -- MacKenzie Weegar

Roberto Luongo

James Reimer

Scratched: Alex Petrovic

Injured: Radim Vrbata (face), Jared McCann (lower body), Derek MacKenzie (undisclosed)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Derek Grant -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Chris Wagner -- Jakob Silfverberg

Logan Shaw -- Antoine Vermette -- Kevin Roy

Nick Ritchie -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Korbinian Holzer

Francois Beauchemin -- Brandon Montour

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Kevin Bieksa -- Sami Vatanen

John Gibson

Reto Berra

Scratched: Jaycob Megna

Injured: Ryan Miller (lower body), Ryan Getzlaf (face), Cam Fowler (knee), Patrick Eaves (illness), Ryan Kesler (hip surgery), Jared Boll (lower body), Ondrej Kase (upper body)

 

Status report

Vrbata, who had a hat trick in the win against the Ducks last month, was struck in the mouth with the puck early in the first period against the Kings and did not return. ... Fowler practiced Saturday for the first time since he was injured on Oct. 20, but remains on injured reserve. … Lindholm is expected to return after missing a 4-2 victory against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury.

 

Stat pack

Florida allows the most shot attempts per game in the NHL at 35.7. ... Gibson is 3-0-0 this season when facing 40 shots or more.

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