Skip to main content

Panthers' Campbell happy with shift back to right side

by Alain Poupart /

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Brian Campbell will be going to a familiar spot Tuesday when the Florida Panthers face his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks.

After playing on the left side for most of the season, Campbell will be shifting to the right side with his new defense partner, Dmitry Kulikov.

"It's kind of good," Campbell said after the Panthers' morning skate. "It moves me back over to the right side, which I've played probably for eight years in a row now. It's been an adjustment going back to the left side. Now going to the right, I feel like I can contribute more offensively hopefully. It's more of a comfort for me. I do enjoy that."

Campbell had played with veteran newcomer Tom Gilbert until being paired with Kulikov during the third period of Florida's 2-1 shootout victory against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

Campbell has five assists on the season, tying him for ninth in the NHL. He also has a plus-1 rating, one of only four players on the Panthers with a positive plus/minus number.

"Kuli [Kulikov] and I have to go out there and play solid defensively and take care of our business," Campbell said. "We have to be at the top of our game or else it won't last. I think it's a great opportunity. I'm excited. We played half the game last game together and felt like we had a lot of chemistry and some good chances and moved the puck well for our forwards."

Campbell is one of three Panthers, along with Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky, who played on the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team. Campbell will be facing his former team for the third time and hoping for a better outcome than the last one.

"I was throwing up most of the game, I wasn't feeling too good from sickness," Campbell recalled of a 3-1 Panthers loss at Chicago on Jan. 20, 2012. "So I'm excited to play [Tuesday]. It's great guys over there. Yeah, there's definitely a lot of great emotions. Anytime you win a championship you have a special bond. It'll be fun to get the opportunity to go against them. I feel good this time. It wasn't fun last time, snowstorm and that. It was definitely a game to forget."

The defensive changes aren't the only ones for the Panthers. Coach Kevin Dineen shuffled around his forward lines, including one trio that includes recent first-round picks Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad skating with Jesse Winchester.

For the Blackhawks, the game against Florida is part of their mothers' trip. The team rotates between mothers and fathers for the annual event, which was canceled last season because of the lockout.

A total of 41 moms, including that of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, made the trip.

"I've been lucky enough to have my parents on a couple of road trips now with the fathers' and mothers' trips," right wing Patrick Sharp said. "It's always fun to have mom along for the ride. She enjoys the travel. She loves the hotels we stay in and gets blown away by the meals that the Blackhawks feed us. She's having a lot of fun."

Michael Kostka, who scored the game-winning goal in a 3-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, will be in the lineup for Chicago for a second consecutive game. He has rotated all season with Sheldon Brookbank and Michal Rozsival for the last spot on defense.

Here are the projected lineups for the Blackhawks and Panthers on Tuesday:


Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Kane - Michal Handzus - Patrick Sharp

Bryan Bickell - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Shaw

Brandon Bollig - Brandon Pirri - Ben Smith

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michael Kostka

Corey Crawford

Nikolai Khabibulin

Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Michal Rozsival


Tomas Fleischmann - Aleksander Barkov - Kris Versteeg

Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Jesse Winchester

Shawn Matthias - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Scottie Upshall - Scott Gomez - Brad Boyes

Dmitry Kulikov - Brian Campbell

Tom Gilbert - Mike Weaver

Matt Gilroy - Erik Gudbranson

Tim Thomas

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Ryan Whitney, Krys Barch

Injured: Ed Jovanovski (lower body), Sean Bergenheim (lower body), Steven Pinizzotto (lower body)

View More