PANTHERS (16-20-6) at CANADIENS (24-14-5)
7:00 PM ET; TV: FOX Sports Network; RADIO: 560 AM
Last 10: Florida 5-4-1; Buffalo 5-3-2
STREAKING KILLER B'S: The Panthers’ line featuring uber rookie Aleksander Barkov centering fellow Finn Sean Bergenheim and "Not a Finn" Brad Boyes has been swarming the nets recently. Barkov has tallied 12 points (3-9-12) in his last 12 games, Bergenheim has six goals in his last six (and eight in his last 12) and Boyes sits on a four-game point streak, posting six points (2-4-6).
FRANCHISE RECORD FOR SASHA?: The 18-year old and newly minted Finnish Olympian will take sole possession of the Panthers’ All-Time rookie point streak with a point this evening. The Flying Finn has posted seven points (1-6-7) over his current six-game streak, pulling him even with Jesse Belanger (1993-94) and Kristian Huselius (2000-01) for the franchise record by a freshman. Barkov’s six-game streak is one short of the mark posted by Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat, whose current seven game point streak is the longest by a rookie this season.
SOUP'S ON IN BUFFALO: Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell is set to play in his 800th NHL game against the team he started his NHL career with. He should see a lot of time against Buffalo, were he spent his first eight years in the league and played in 391 games, as Soupy has averaged 27:43 in ice time this season for the Cats. Campbell will become only the 66th active player in the league to have hit the 800 game mark.
TWO HOT TEAMS, ONE COLD CITY: Thursday night's matchup will feature two teams who have shown marked improvements as of late. Florida is 6-4 over their last 10 road games, having notched victories across the land in Colorado, Vancouver, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. The Sabres have won their last five home contests and have allowed only one goal in each of their last three home wins. The Sabres home game on Tuesday versus Carolina was cancelled due to inclement weather.
BETWEEN THE PIPES: Offense could be at a premium come Thursday night as expected starters Tim Thomas and Jhonas Enroth have been stingy against opposing teams. Thomas has allowed more than two goals just once in his last six games while Enroth has allowed three goals or less in each of his last five five contests.