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5 Things To Know: Panthers vs Blue Jackets

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
FLORIDA PANTHERS (35-26-10 80pts.) vs. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (37-28-6 80pts.)

March 21, 2009
BANKATLANTIC CENTER
7:00 P.M.

5 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TONIGHT'S GAME:

5. The Florida Panthers have posted an 19-10-5 mark since Jan. 1, earning points in 24 of their last 34 games. After 71 games, Florida (35-26-10) owns their best record since 1999-2000 campaign (37-24-5-5), the last time that the Panthers qualified for the post season. The Cats currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 80 points, one point behind the eighth place Montreal Canadiens. Florida hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight in their fourth game of a five-game home stand.

4. D Jay Bouwmeester ranks third in the NHL averaging 26:58 of ice time per game and ranks 26th among NHL league leaders with 35 points (13-22-35). He also holds the NHL’s active consecutive games played streak at 330 games played, dating back to the 2003-04 season. Additionally, with his 50th goal of his NHL career on Thursday, Feb. 5, Bouwmeester became just the second Panthers defenseman to record 50 tallies while playing for the Cats, joining Robert Svehla (61).

3.
Seven of Florida’s top 11 leading point producers are 26 years-old or younger (Weiss-25 yrs old; Booth-24 yrs old; Horton-23 yrs old; Bouwmeester-25 yrs old; Frolik-20 yrs old; Campbell-25 yrs old, Ballard-26 yrs old).

2. C Michael Frolik ranks fifth among NHL rookie scoring leaders with 36 points (18-18-36). In addition, Frolik places fourth in rookie goal scoring (18) and fifth among rookie leaders in shots on goal (135). He recorded the second two goal performance of his NHL career on Tuesday, Mar. 3 at Atlanta, in a 4-3 win over the Thrashers and his first three point effort (1-2-3) of his NHL career on Tuesday, Jan. 27 in the Panthers 3-2 victory over Philadelphia.

1. Florida's defense places first in the NHL with 43 goals scored this season (Bouwmeester-13, McCabe-12, Ballard-6, Boynton-5, Skrastins-4, Cullimore-2, Welch (traded to TB)-1). With their next goal scored by a Panthers defensemen, Florida will set a franchise record for defensive goals scored in a season, surpassing the mark of 43 set during the 1995-96 season.

BROADCAST

LOCAL TV:
FS FLORIDA
6:30 p.m. Panthers Live
7 p.m. - Panthers vs. Blue Jackets
Broadcasters: Steve Goldstein (PxP), Denis Potvin (Color), Craig Minervini (Host), Frank Forte (Sideline), Allison Williams (Sideline)

LOCAL RADIO:
790 The Ticket
6:30 p.m. - Panthers Preview
7 p.m. - Panthers vs. Blue Jackets
Broadcasters: Randy Moller (PxP), Bill Lindsay (Color)
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