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5 Things To Watch: Dec. 28 vs Detroit

by Tori Martinez / Florida Panthers

Whether you're going to the game or if you can't make it and are catching the game on FOX Sports Florida or WSBR 720AM, here are the five things to look for in tonight's matchup.

RED WINGS (17-13-9) at PANTHERS (14-19-5)

THRICE IS NICE?: This will be Detroit and Florida’s third matchup of the season. In the Panthers first matchup against the Red Wings on Dec. 7, forward Jonathan Huberdeau recorded the game-winning goal in the third period, giving the Panthers a 2-1 victory in Detroit. Then in their second meeting at the BB&T Center three days later, it would be decided by the shootout, in which Aleksander Barkov and Brad Boyes scored for a 3-2 Panthers victory. Will this be back-to-back wins at home for the Panthers and three straight?

NO MAN LEFT BEHIND: On their five-game winning streak, the Panthers had allowed a total of eight goals. In their last two games, the Panthers have allowed 11. On Monday Dec. 23, the Cats allowed six goals, including five in the final two periods of play against cross-state rival Tampa Bay. Florida got on the board first as Sean Bergenheim scored a power play goal. Then things started to take a turn when Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn tied the game up seconds later in the first period and it was all Lightning from there. The Panthers were disappointed by this loss and look to rebound against Detroit.

WHO’S ON TOP: With Tomas Fleischmann, Brian Campbell and Barkov nothing is impossible. These three players make huge impacts in game changing situations. They, along with Scottie Upshall (out hurt) lead the Panthers is scoring as Fleischmann (5-14-19), Campbell (4-12-16) and Barkov (6-10-16) have posted solid numbers to date.

SUCCESS OF LATE: In the past the Panthers haven’t found the greatest of success against Detroit but this year has been different so far after beating them two times in a row to open up their season series. Florida has won 7 out of the last 10 games overall.

BIG 20: Fox Sports Florida will be presenting “20 Years of Panthers Hockey,” shortly after the Florida Panthers vs Detroit Red Wings telecast. Be sure to tune in to see the unique history of the Panthers.

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