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A Look Ahead: Feb. 23 - March 1

by Mike Lewis / Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Windy City on Tuesday before hosting them in South Florida on Thursday. Thursday’s game against Chicago begins a seven-game homestand for Florida, the longest homestand for the Panthers this season. Following Chicago this week, the Panthers will host the Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning in back-to-back match-ups this weekend.

STORYLINES TO WATCH

- Florida will face Chicago twice in three days.

- Florida begins a season-high seven-game homestand on Thursday.

- F Brad Boyes is one goal shy of his 200th career goal

- D Brian Campbell is four games away from his 900th NHL game.

- D Aaron Ekblad is one goal shy of tying D Ed Jovanovksi (10, 1995-96) for first all-time among Panthers rookie defensemen in goals.

TUESDAY'S TILT/THURSDAY'S THROWDOWN

Feb. 24 at Chicago Blackhawks

Feb. 26 vs. Chicago Blackhawks

All-Time Record vs. Chicago: 9-15-3-2

All-Time Road Record vs. Chicago: 5-8-2-0

All-Time Home Record vs. Chicago:4-7-1-2

59 games through the NHL season, Florida has yet to face the Chicago Blackhawks. The Panthers and Blackhawks will lock up on Tuesday in Chicago before heading back to South Florida for a game on Thursday. Florida is winless in their last five games against Chicago. The Panthers last defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 on Mar. 8, 2011.

KNOW YOUR OPPOSITION – CHICAGO

- F Marian Hossa: 51 GP vs. FLA, 61 Pts. (32-29—61)

- F Patrick Kane: 10 GP vs. FLA, 14 Pts. (5-9—14)

- F Patrick Sharp: 11 GP vs. FLA, 7 Pts. (3-4—7)

- F Jonathan Toews: 10 GP vs. FLA, 9 Pts. (4-5—9)

- F Brad Richards: 56 GP vs. FLA, 50 pts. (19-31—50)

- G Corey Crawford: 5 GP vs. FLA, 3-1-0 (1 SO)

- G Antti Raanta: 1 GP vs. FLA, 1-0-0

CATS VS. HAWKS

- F Aleksander Barkov: 2 GP vs. CHI, 1 Pt. (0-1—1)

- F Brad Boyes: 28 GP vs. CHI, 17 Pts. (7-10—17)

- F Tomas Fleischmann: 10 GP vs. CHI, 9 Pts. (5-4—9)

- F Jussi Jokinen: 16 GP vs. CHI, 10 Pts. (3-7—10)

- G Roberto Luongo: 30 GP vs. CHI, 15-11-2 (4 SO)

- G Al Montoya: 5 GP vs. CHI, 1-1-2

DID YOU KNOW?

- Florida F Dave Bolland was selected by Chicago in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft. Bolland played 332 games for the Blackhawks (2006-13), recording 168 points (70-98—168). The Mimico, Ontario native scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Blackhawks in Game Six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. Bolland won two Stanley Cups while playing for Chicago (2010, 2013).

- Florida F Jimmy Hayes played 43 games for the Chicago (2011-14), recording 13 points (6-7—13). Florida acquired Hayes and D Dylan Olsen from Chicago in exchange for F Kris Versteeg on Nov.14, 2013.

- Florida F Tomas Kopecky played 155 games for Chicago (2009-11), recording 63 points (25-38—63). Kopecky won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010. Florida acquired Kopecky from Chicago in exchange for a seventh round draft pick (2012) on June 27, 2011, before signing Kopecky on June 29.

-Florida F Brandon Pirri was selected by Chicago in the second round (59th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. Pirri played 35 games for Chicago (2010-14), recording 13 points (6-7—13). Florida acquired Pirri from Chicago in exchange for a third round pick (2014) and a fifth round pick (2016) on March 2, 2014.

- Florida F Shawn Thornton played 31 games for Chicago (2002-06), recording three points (2-1—3) and 70 PIM.

- Florida D Brian Campbell played 215 games for Chicago (2008-11), recording 117 points (19-98—117). Campbell won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010. Florida acquired Campbell from Chicago in exchange for F Rostislav Olesz on June 24, 2011. Chicago is the only team in the NHL that Campbell has yet to record a point against.

- Florida G Al Montoya is a native of Chicago, Illinois.

- Florida Assistant Coach John Madden played 79 games for Chicago (2009-10), recording 23 points (10-13—23). Madden won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010.

- Florida Executive Vice-President & General Manager Dale Tallon has a long history with the Blackhawks. Tallon spent 33 years in the Blackhawks organization as a front office executive, player and broadcast personality. Tallon served as the team's General Manager (2005-09) and the Assistant General Manager (2003-05). Tallon also spent time as Director of Player Personnel (1998-02) and Senior Advisor to Hockey Operations (2009-10). Tallon played 325 games for Chicago (1973-78), recording 156 points (44-112—156).

- Chicago F Kris Versteeg played 99 games for Florida (2010-14), recording 65 points (27-38—65). Versteeg played with Florida during their trip to the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording five points (2-3—5) in seven games.

- Chicago Assistant Coach Kevin Dineen formerly served as Head Coach of Florida (2011-14), leading the Panthers to a 2011-12 Southeast Division championship and a 2012 Stanley Cup Playoff berth.

- Chicago Assistant Coach Mike Kitchen formerly served as Assistant Coach for Florida (2007-10).

SATURDAY'S SHOWDOWN

Feb. 28 vs. Buffalo Sabres

All-Time Record against Buffalo: 34-38-4-7

All-Time Home Record against Buffalo: 19-17-1-2

Florida has yet to fall in regulation to the Sabres this season, owning a 3-0-1 record over four games against Buffalo. G Roberto Luongo has earned shutouts in two games this season against the Sabres, while former Sabre, Brad Boyes has notched four points (2-2—4) in the four games of the season series. Saturday's game will be the last meeting between the two teams this season.

KNOW YOUR OPPOSITION -- BUFFALO

- F Brian Gionta: 42 GP vs. PIT, 30 Pts. (20-10—30)

- F Cody Hodgson: 12 GP vs. FLA, 6 Pts. (3-3—6)

- F Tyler Ennis: 19 GP vs. FLA, 11 Pts. (3-8—11)

- D Zach Bogosian: 26 GP vs. FLA, 15 Pts. (4-11—15)

- G Michael Neuvirth: 13 GP vs. FLA, 3-6-1

- G Anders Lindback: 6 GP vs. FLA, 5-1-0 (1 SO)

CATS VS. SABRES

- F Brad Boyes: 30 GP vs. BUF, 19 Pts. (6-13—19)

- F Nick Bjugstad: 8 GP vs. BUF, 5 Pts. (3-2—5)

- F Jussi Jokinen: 13 GP vs. BUF, 13 pts. (4-9—13)

- D Brian Campbell: 16 GP vs. BUF, 7 Pts. (2-5—7)

- G Roberto Luongo: 23 GP vs. BUF, 13-6-1 (5 SO)

- G Al Montoya : 4 GP vs. BUF, 3-0-1 (1 SO)

DID YOU KNOW?

- Panthers D Brian Campbell was selected by Buffalo in the sixth round (155th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Campbell played 391 games for the Sabres (1999-2008) recording 176 points (32-144—176).

- Panthers F Brad Boyes played 86 games for Buffalo (2010-12), recording 37 points (13-24—37).

- Sabres D Tyson Strachan played 53 games for Florida (2011-13) recording seven points (1-6—7).

- Panthers radio play-by-play announcer Randy Moller played 126 games for Buffalo (1991-94) during his playing days, recording 25 points (5-20—25) and 296 PIMs.

SUNDAY'S SHOWDOWN

Mar. 1 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

All-Time Record against Tampa Bay: 57-35-10-12

All-Time Home Record against Tampa Bay: 32-12-4-9

The two in-state rivals haven't crossed paths since both team's season openers (Oct. 9). In the season's first game, Panthers fell 3-2 in overtime to the Lightning. The Cats will look to shut down one of the top offensive teams in the league as the Lightning lead the NHL in goals per game (3.23). The two Sunshine State teams will face off twice more this season, March 24 in Tampa Bay and Apr. 4 in South Florida.

KNOW YOUR OPPOSITION -- TAMPA BAY

- F Ryan Callahan: 23 GP vs. FLA, 13 Pts. (5-8—13)

- F Valtteri Filppula: 9 GP vs. GLA, 12 Pts. (4-8—12)

- F Tyler Johnson: 6 GP vs. FLA, 3 Pts. (3-0—3)

- F Steven Stamkos: 32 GP vs. FLA, 38 Pts. (22-16—38)

- D Victor Hedman: 24 GP vs. FLA, 12 Pts. (2-10—12)

- G Ben Bishop: 5 GP vs. FLA, 5-0-0

- G Andrei Vasilevskiy: 0 GP vs. FLA, 0-0-0

CATS VS. BOLTS

- F Nick Bjugstad: 5 GP vs. TBL, 4 Pts. (2-2—4)

- F Brad Boyes: 25 GP vs. TBL, 24 pts. (11-13—24)

-F Jonathan Huberdeau: 10 GP vs. TBL, 6 Pts. (3-3—6)

- F Tomas Fleischmann: 41 GP vs. TBL, 31 Pts. (14-17—31)

- F Jussi Jokinen: 28 GP vs. TBL, 22 Pts. (9-13—22)

- D Brian Campbell: 39 GP vs. TBL, 18 Pts. (2-16—18)

-G Roberto Luongo: 29 GP vs. TBL, 13-12-1 (3 SO)

- G Al Montoya: 8 GP vs. TBL, 5-2-0

DID YOU KNOW?

- Panthers F Sean Bergenheim played 80 games for Tampa Bay (2010-11), recording 29 points (14-15—29).

- Panthers F Jussi Jokinen played 66 games for Tampa Bay (2007-09), recording 30 points (8-22—30).

- Panthers Head Coach Gerard Gallant played 52 games for Tampa Bay, recording 13 points (4-9—13). Gallant and Lightning General Manager, Steve Yzerman played together in Detroit (1984-93).

- Lightning D Jason Garrison began his NHL career with the Florida Panthers after being signed as a free agent (2008-09). Garrison played in 190 games for Florida (2008-12), recording 59 points (23-36—59). During the 2011-12 season, Garrison set the Florida franchise record for goals in a season for a defenseman (16).

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