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Preview: Panthers at Blackhawks

Tom Rowe coaches first game for Florida; Chicago remains without Jonathan Toews

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

PANTHERS (11-10-1) at BLACKHAWKS (14-6-3)

8:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-F, NHL.TV


Panthers team scope

The Florida Panthers went through their first morning skate under the guidance of coach Tom Rowe, who took over after Gerard Gallant was fired Sunday. After not practicing Monday, the Panthers held a team meeting to discuss strategic adjustments that will be implemented by Rowe, but only slight changes were made to the forward lines. "We talked about working on some details in our [defensive-zone] coverage, first and foremost, and then we want to push the pace," Rowe said. "We don't want to overload them with too much information. We just want them to go out there and play." Rowe, who will be coaching his first NHL game, said he didn't want to make drastic changes considering how popular Gallant was with his players. "Gerard Gallant, first, is just a great human being," Rowe said. "He's a really good guy. The other day was brutal on everybody. It's a tough, tough decision, and you do have to be sensitive to the players, because the players really liked him and they respected him." Goalie Roberto Luongo will start.


Blackhawks team scope 

Jonathan Toews, who has an upper-body injury, will miss his third straight game for the Chicago Blackhawks. Toews didn't participate in the morning skate and is day to day. "I think you've got an idea that you'd like to get back on the ice, and when you get that, as soon as you see him on the ice, you've got an idea that he's close to playing," coach Joel Quenneville said. "[Toews] wants to be out there on the ice in the worst way, so we'll do everything we can to get him back." Since leaving at 8:43 of the second period in a 2-1 loss at the Sharks last Wednesday, the Blackhawks have won 50 of 155 faceoffs (32.3 percent). In two-plus games, they've dropped from 14th in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (49.7 percent) to 29th (47.9 percent). "[Toews] is one of the best faceoff guys in the League," rookie center Nick Schmaltz said. "You've got to win draws, because you want to start with the puck and then you want to hold onto it." Goalie Corey Crawford will start.


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen -- Vincent Trocheck -- Reilly Smith

Seth Griffin -- Denis Malgin -- Nick Bjugstad

Kyle Rau-- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Jason Demers

Jakub Kindl -- Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson -- Mark Pysyk

Roberto Luongo

James Reimer

Scratched: Shawn Thornton, Dylan McIlrath

Injured: Jonathan Huberdeau (lower leg), Alex Petrovic (ankle)


Blackhawks projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Vinnie Hinostroza - Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen -- Marcus Kruger - Jordin Tootoo

Tyler Motte -- Nick Schmaltz -- Richard Panik

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling -- Brian Campbell

Scott Darling

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Andrew Desjardins

Injured: Jonathan Toews (upper body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body)


Status report

Crawford appeared to injure himself during the morning skate but was looked at by the training staff and resumed taking shots. Quenneville said Crawford is fine. … Darling is healthy enough to back up Crawford after missing practice Monday with an illness. … Tootoo will draw into the lineup after missing the game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings with a lower-body injury. … Van Riemsdyk returned to practice Monday, but has not been taken off injured reserve. … McIlrath will be scratched for the sixth straight game for the Panthers, who will also scratch Thornton for the second straight game.


Who's hot

Kane has goals in each of the past two games. ...Panarin has a three-game point streak (goal and two assists). ... Barkov has six assists in the past five games.

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