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Jaromir Jagr seeks another milestone

Panthers forward goes for 750th NHL goal; Red Wings change up lines, defensive pairs

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

RED WINGS (0-1-0) VS. PANTHERS (1-0-0)

7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-D, NHL.TV

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jaromir Jagr could reach another milestone when the Florida Panthers host the Detroit Red Wings at BB&T Center on Saturday.

The Panthers forward enters the game with 749 career goals, and could join Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) as the only players in NHL history to reach 750.

"I like 800 better, 900 even better," Jagr said after the morning skate. "It's a lot of goals, but remember I played with so many great players. It makes it a lot easier for me. (I played with) great passers over my hockey career. I played with Mario (Lemieux) for a long time; Ron Francis, one of the best passers in the League. I had him for six years on my line."

Florida also will be giving out a bobblehead of Jagr prior to the game.

Jagr, 44, didn't score in the Panthers' 2-1 overtime victory against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, but he led all players with seven shots on goal.

"He had a great game," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "He had probably five or six scoring chances. We were real happy with his performance. And he felt real good. He said he lost some weight over the summer and got quicker, and he definitely looked it the other night."

Jagr's linemates Jonathan Marchessault and Aleksander Barkov had the Florida goals Thursday in the first game without injured Jonathan Huberdeau, who is expected to miss 3-4 months because of an Achilles injury.

Roberto Luongo, who made 23 saves and tied Jacques Plante for sixth place on the NHL's all-time list with his 437th victory, will be in net again for the Panthers, who will be going with the same lineup from opening night.

The Red Wings, coming off a 6-4 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their season opener on Thursday, will go with different forward lines and different defense pairs.

Forward Andreas Athanasiou was a healthy scratch on Thursday, but will be on the top line with Frans Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg. The only forward line that will remain the same is the trio of Gustav Nyquist, Darren Helm and Thomas Vanek.

"We're just looking for the right chemistry," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We'd like to get a little more out of some different line pairings. We inserted Athanasiou with Zetterberg and Nielsen to give them speed and energy. He can certainly provide that, so hopefully he's a good match on that line."

On defense, Danny DeKeyser will be paired with Mike Green and Brendan Smith will play with Alexey Marchenko. DeKeyser played with Marchenko against Tampa Bay.

Blashill said he made the switch to achieve more balance.

"You have a steadier guy with a rush-type guy in (Green) and you have a steadier guy in (Marchenko) with a rush-type guy in Smith," Blashill said. "That doesn't mean that (Marchenko) and Danny can't be up the ice because they certainly can, but it kind of balances that out a little bit."

Blashill said there was no hesitation in giving goalie Petr Mrazek a second consecutive start after he allowed five goals on 35 shots against Tampa Bay.

"I thought Petr was on his game the other night," Blashill said. "I thought he was absolutely on his game. If he plays that same game, I think he'll be real good again tonight."

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Neilsen -- Henrik Zetterberg

Tomas Tatar -- Dylan Larkin -- Riley Sheahan

Gustav Nyquist -- Darren Helm -- Thomas Vanek

Justin Abdelkader -- Luke Glendening -- Drew Miller

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Brendan Smith -- Alexey Marchenko

Jonathan Ericsson -- Xavier Ouellet

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: Ryan Sproul, Steve Ott

Injured: Tomas Jurco (back), Niklas Kronwall (knee)

 

Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen -- Vincen Trocheck -- Reilly Smith

Jared McCann -- Denis Malgin -- Colton Sceviour

Greg McKegg --Derek MacKenzie -- Shane Harper

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Michael Matheson -- Jason Demers

Mark Pysyk -- Alex Petrovic

Roberto Luongo

James Reimer

Scratched: Shawn Thornton, Steven Kampfer

Injured: Jonathan Huberdeau (ankle), Nick Bjugstad (hand)

 

Status report

Ott, who was signed as a free agent July 1, will be a healthy scratch after having six penalty minutes against Tampa Bay. … Sproul, a second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft who has played one career game, will be a healthy scratch again, although Blashill said he was hoping to get him in the lineup at some point.

 

Who's hot

Vanek had two goals against Tampa Bay, Nielsen had a goal and an assist and Green had two assists. ... Barkov had an assist and scored in overtime against the Devils.

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