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Martin returning to Ottawa with Panthers

by Adam Schwartz
Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin returns to Canada's capital city, where he coached for 9 seasons, when the Panthers face the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m. ET on TSN Wednesday night

In addition to the Florida-Ottawa game, the Detroit Red Wings take on the St. Louis Blues for the Central Division lead, the New Jersey Devils begin a stretch of 6 of 7 home games when they battle the Dallas Stars, the San Jose Sharks finish their cross-country home-and-home series with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Edmonton Oilers look to remain unbeaten when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* Florida left wing David Booth, who had 3 goals and 4 points in his first 2 games this season, has no points and a minus-3 rating in his last 3 games. Booth, who was third on the team last season with 22 goals, hasn't played more than 16 minutes in his last 3 games, but played at least 18 minutes in his first 2 games.

* Ottawa left wing Nick Foligno, who had no points in his first 2 games this season, has recorded a point in his last 3 games. Foligno, whose father Mike played 1,018 NHL games, had 6 goals and 9 points in 45 games last season, but should get more ice time this season.

* Dallas center Brenden Morrow, who is tied for third on the Stars with 5 points, has points in 5 of the Stars' 6 games. The game Morrow played fewer than 18 minutes was the game in which he didn't get a point.

* Devils left wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, who will play in his first NHL game Wednesday night, had 32 penalty minutes in 4 games this season with New Jersey's American Hockey League affiliate the Lowell Devils. Letourneau-Leblond, who had 98 penalty minutes in 36 games with Lowell last season, has his parents, siblings and girlfriend coming to the Prudential Center on Wednesday to witness his first NHL game.

* San Jose right wing Devin Setoguchi, who had 6 assists and 17 points in 44 games last season, has 2 assists and 5 points in 6 games this season. Setoguchi, who averaged 14:14 of ice time last season, hasn't seen much of an increase this season, with an average of 15:32, but he is making better use of it.

* Flyers center Daniel Briere, who has a Boston Terrier named Zora, has 7 goals in 18 career games against the Sharks, including 2 goals in the first half of the home-and-home series between the teams Saturday night in San Jose.

* The Blues, who were picked by many to miss the playoffs this season, have a 4-1 record. St. Louis, which leads the Central Division with 22 goals in 5 games, was tied for the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference last season with 205.

* St. Louis left wing Paul Kariya, who had just 65 points last season, is just 1 assist behind the League leaders with 8 this season. Kariya, who has had 6 80-point seasons, has not reached that number since 2005-06.

* The Red Wings, who had 2 players in the top-6 in scoring last season, don't have a player in the top 30 this season. Detroit, which has scored the fewest goals in the Central Division, with 16 in 5 games, has gotten 5 of its goals from left wing Tomas Holmstrom, who averages just 16:15 of ice time per game.

* Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert, who signed a six-year contract extension this summer, is tied for the team lead with 11 blocked shots. Gilbert, a mobile defenseman with a considerable offensive upside, got his first point of the season when he assisted on Andrew Cogliano's game-winning goal Saturday night in Edmonton's 3-2 comeback victory against the Calgary Flames.

* After getting off to a slow start with just 1 assist in his first 4 games, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews has 2 assists in his last 2 games. Toews, who was named Blackhawks captain this summer, has played at least 20 minutes in every game this season.

* Chicago right wing Kris Versteeg, drafted in the fifth round (No. 134) in the 2004 Entry Draft, leads NHL rookies with 6 points in 6 games. Versteeg, who had 4 points in 13 games with the Blackhawks last season, had 31 assists and 49 points in 56 games with Chicago's American Hockey League affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.
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