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Panthers look to get offense going against Predators

by Staff /

PANTHERS (2-4-0) at PREDATORS (2-3-0)


Season series: It's the first of two between the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators this season. Their last meeting was in 2012, a 3-1 win by the Predators. The last time the teams met in Nashville was in 2010, a 3-0 win by the Predators.

Big story: The Panthers, coming off a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, have scored 13 goals in six games. The Predators scored three in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday but have nine goals in five games, so offense could be at a minimum.

Team scope:

Panthers: After finishing tied for 28th in goals scored last season, things haven't gotten much better for Florida. Brad Boyes has scored four of the teams 13 goals thus far, but the Panthers have already been blanked twice this season.

"Aside from that [breakaway] we still had a few chances, a couple of looks, nothing glorious, but they're good and they've won for a reason. They don't give up a lot of second opportunities," Boyes told the Panthers website after the loss to the Kings.

The Panthers had two stretches of almost 10 minutes each without a shot on goal.

"As the game wore on, we got worn down. That's going to happen," coach Kevin Dineen said. "The problem that we have is I think our hockey IQ dropped as well. We thought we could play a fancy game and you cannot play a fancy game against the Kings, the Blues, the majority of the NHL. You can't play that way and have success."

Predators: In a game to remember, rookie defenseman Seth Jones scored his first NHL goal Saturday against the Islanders.

"You feel unbelievable. We worked the puck around pretty well during the power play and I got a good pass from [David Legwand]. I kinda just wound up and shot it and hoped for the best," Jones told the Predators website.

The Predators not only scored a power-play goal, but they also killed off all three penalties. It was the first time this season they connected on the power play while not allowing a power play goal.

"It's very important. It's what wins and loses you hockey games," Jones said. "Special teams is a battle every game. Usually whoever wins the special teams battle, most times they win the game."

Who's hot: Boyes has four goals in the last four games for the Panthers. … Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis had the game-winning goal and an assist on Saturday.

Injury report: Panthers goalie Tim Thomas (groin) missed the game Sunday and is questionable. Ed Jovanovski (hip), Steven Pinizzotto (hip) and Sean Bergenheim (hip/abdomen) will all be out for Florida. Rookie center Nick Bjugstad has missed the start of the season because of a concussion, but he could make his season debut. … Roman Josi (concussion) will not play for the Predators.

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