BLUE JACKETS (13-21-3) at PANTHERS (19-12-4)
TV: FS-O, FS-F
The Florida Panthers can earn their sixth consecutive victory for the first time in seven years and possibly take over first place in the Atlantic Division with a win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at BB&T Center.
Florida hasn't had a winning streak of more than five straight since winning seven in a row March 2-16, 2008. The Panthers and Boston Bruins each have 42 points, one behind the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens.
The Panthers are 11-3-0 since Nov. 27.
"We want to lead with the momentum we left on our break and continue it," defenseman Aaron Ekblad told the Panthers website. "Obviously I think we all feel good right now, getting a couple of days to rest and relax and fix up some minor bumps and bruises. Hopefully we build off the momentum that we had going into the break and it works out well for us."
The Blue Jackets play the second of a back-to-back set following a 5-2 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Columbus held a 2-1 lead before taking three minor penalties in a three-second span of the second period and allowing two 5-on-3 goals in 32 seconds.
"Those are the types of things that have really defined us, at least since I've been here," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said after the game. "I'm not trying to disrespect Tampa at all, but we give too many things for free."
The Blue Jackets conclude a stretch of five of six games away from Nationwide Arena on Sunday, including three straight. They're 3-7-3 in their past 13 games and their 29 points are 30th in the NHL.
Here are the projected lineups:
Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Rene Bourque
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Brandon Saad
Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Gregory Campbell - William Karlsson - David Clarkson
Jack Johnson - Ryan Murray
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Andrew Bodnarchuk - Justin Falk
Injured: Nick Foligno (undisclosed), Kevin Connauton (undisclosed), Cody Goloubef (broken jaw), Markus Hannikainen (shoulder), Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), David Savard (lower body)
Scratched: Jared Boll
Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr
Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Reilly Smith
Brandon Pirri - Derek MacKenzie - Logan Shaw
Quinton Howden - Corban Knight - Shawn Thornton
Brian Campbell - Erik Gudbranson
Dmitry Kulikov - Aaron Ekblad
Willie Mitchell - Alex Petrovic
Injured: Nick Bjugstad (upper body), Steven Kampfer (lower body), Dave Bolland (lower body)
Status report: Bjugstad skated with the Panthers on Sunday and is getting closer to a return, according to the Sun Sentinel. He has been out since Nov. 29. … Luongo will start for the Panthers. … McElhinney will start for the Blue Jackets. He replaced Korpisalo in the third period Saturday after Korpisalo gave up four goals on 18 shots.
Who's hot: All nine of Wennberg's assists have come in his past 10 games. … Hartnell has five goals and 11 points in his past 10 games, including points in four of his past five. … Jagr has two goals and seven points in his past eight games.