Panthers at Blues preview
Florida looking to gain ground in Atlantic; St. Louis can build lead in Centralby Louie Korac / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
PANTHERS (34-26-8) at BLUES (41-18-10)
8 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNP, FS-MW, FS-F, NHL.TV
The Florida Panthers will try to gain ground on third place in the Atlantic Division when they face the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Monday.
The Panthers, who are coming off a 4-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday but are 1-2-2 in their past five games, trail the Toronto Maple Leafs by three points and are also three points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
The Blues, who are playing the second of a back-to-back after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Sunday, are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games. St. Louis leads the Colorado Avalanche by two points for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.
The game was originally scheduled to be played Tuesday but was moved up so the Blues can play a rescheduled game on Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, which was scheduled for Feb. 11 but was postponed after Jay Bouwmeester suffered a medical emergency in the first period.
Players to watch
Panthers forward Mike Hoffman has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) his past 10 games.
Blues center Brayden Schenn has nine points (five goals, four assists) during a seven-game point streak.
They said it
"Against this St. Louis team, they're fast, they're quick, they can make plays, they've got good patience with [the puck], they're active on the point with their defensemen." -- Panthers coach Joel Quenneville
"We understand where everybody's at in the standings and what's going on. You've got to just keep playing, you've got to keep winning." -- Blues coach Craig Berube
Panthers projected lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Frank Vatrano
Mike Hoffman -- Erik Haula -- Evgenii Dadonov
Dominic Toninato -- Lucas Wallmark -- Brett Connolly
Aleksi Saarela -- Noel Acciari -- Colton Sceviour
MacKenzie Weegar -- Aaron Ekblad
Anton Stralman -- Mike Matheson
Keith Yandle -- Mark Pysyk
Scratched: Josh Brown
Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body), Brian Boyle (upper body), Dryden Hunt (lower body), Riley Stillman (upper body)
Blues projected lineup
Jaden Schwartz -- Brayden Schenn -- Sammy Blais
Zach Sanford -- Ryan O'Reilly -- David Perron
Alexander Steen -- Robert Thomas -- Tyler Bozak
Mackenzie MacEachern -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Ivan Barbashev
Carl Gunnarsson -- Alex Pietrangelo
Marco Scandella -- Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn -- Robert Bortuzzo
Scratched: Jordan Kyrou, Jacob de la Rose, Troy Brouwer
Injured: Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), Justin Faulk (upper body), Jay Bouwmeester (cardiac episode)
Stillman, a defenseman, was injured on Saturday and will not play. Saarela, a healthy scratch the past four games, will replace him and move Pysyk back to defense. ... Quenneville said Boyle, a center who has missed 18 games, will not play tonight but "we're counting on him on the trip." Florida plays at the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
Barkov doesn't have a point in his past five games. ... Schwartz has five points (two goals, three assists) in a three-game point streak. ... Binnington is 6-1-0 with a 1.71 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and two shutouts his past seven starts.