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Panthers finish five-game trip against Flames

by Sean McCullen

PANTHERS (6-13-4) at FLAMES (7-11-4)


Last 10: Florida 3-5-2; Calgary 2-6-2

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames. They are scheduled to play in Florida on April 4. The Panthers won the most recent game between the teams, a 3-2 shootout victory Dec. 16, 2011.

Big story: Each team finds itself near the bottom of its division, but Florida has been playing better of late. The same can't be said for Calgary, which opened the season 3-0-2 but has gone 4-11-2 since.

The Panthers started 3-9-4, resulting in coach Kevin Dineen and his two assistants being fired Nov. 8. They have improved under interim coach Peter Horachek, going 3-4-0 since he took over, and will be going for their fourth win in six games.

Team Scope:

Panthers: Florida failed in its bid to win three straight games for the first time this season, losing 4-1 to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday in the fourth of a five-game Western Conference road trip.

Horachek was disappointed with his team's effort two nights after a 3-2 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks.

"The key was the energy; we didn't have any," he said. "That's the key to the game. If your energy is better and you go out with a workman attitude, everything improves; the whole game improves from our standpoint.

"I thought at the beginning of the game, you could see the work ethic wasn't there, the legs weren't there, the compete level wasn't there. That made it a struggle."

The Panthers return home for five games after the game in Calgary.

Flames: Calgary has lost six of seven games, the latest a 2-1 overtime loss Wednesday night to a Columbus Blue Jackets team that had been beaten 7-0 by the Edmonton Oilers one night earlier.

Coach Bob Hartley feels he needs to get more out of all of his lines for the Flames to start winning. Players who aren't producing will either sit or see their ice time cut, he said.

"Even though we're going through like a rebuild, everyone has to be accountable," Hartley said after practice Thursday. "Right now, we need more. Like I said [Wednesday] night, you can't win with only one line. … It's the same rule for everyone. Whether you're a kid, whether you're a veteran, you need to step up, and when you don't, well, there's going to be consequences."

Calgary traded forward Tim Jackman to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday for a sixth-round pick in 2014.

Who's hot: Panthers right wing Brad Boyes has three goals his past five games; he leads the team with eight goals. …Flames center Jiri Hudler has points in two of the past three games. He scored a goal in the Flames' 5-4 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

Injury report: Three Florida players left the game in Edmonton with injuries; Tomas Kopecky went hard into the boards and left with an apparent wrist injury. Jesse Winchester missed the first nine minutes of the second period, returned for four shifts in the second and did not return in the third period. defenseman Mike Weaver (flu) did not play against the Oilers. Defenseman Ed Jovanovski (hip) is off injured reserve but still has not played this season. … Flames forward Curtis Glencross (knee) and defenseman Mark Giordano (broken foot) are out.

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