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Cats & Coffee: Big Game in Boston; Hockey Fights Cancer Night

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment, presented by Koffee Kult, in which we serve up an exciting look at what's on deck for your Florida Panthers. Like our friends at Koffee Kult, this forecast serves up only the best -- so sit back, sip and enjoy our latest brew of news, notes and information!

The Florida Panthers enter this week preparing for one of their toughest tests of the season.

After wrapping up a back-to-back set in New York with a 6-5 shootout win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon, the Panthers immediately started looking ahead to closing out their three-game road trip against the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins on Tuesday.

With the win, the Panthers (8-4-5) have earned points in 12 of their last 14 games.

"It was a good win for us. Now we've got another tough team," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think everybody that we've been playing at the start of this year, it seems like they've been playing well when we meet them. When you look at Boston, they've got all the ingredients on every line. They've got the balance of a team that looks like they went to the Finals last year. They're playing the right way, too. That's going to be the greatest test that we've had to date."

Florida's top line led the charge on offense against the Rangers -- combining for two goals and three assists -- and will be counted on once again this week to come up big against Boston's very stingy defense, which is currently surrendering an average of just 2.41 goals per game.

The centerpiece of that top line, Aleksander Barkov is riding a five-game goal streak and leads the team with 22 points. Right behind him is Jonathan Huberdeau, who has 21 points and is on a five-game point streak. Then, last but certainly not least, Evgenii Dadonov sits with 16 points.

Overall, that line has combined for 22 goals and 37 assists in 17 games this season.

"We know we have a tough test ahead of us," Panthers winger Frank Vatrano said. "Playing against Boston is one of the best teams in the league right now and a tough building to go into. We knew we needed those two points [in New York]. Let's keep this momentum going forward."

Following their battle in Beantown, the Panthers will return to Sunrise to open up a four-game homestand, starting with matchups against the Winnipeg Jets and Rangers on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Here's everything you need to know for the week ahead…

THE GAMES

Tuesday: at Boston Bruins, 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers will attempt to end their three-game road trip on a high note when they visit the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins (11-3-3) on Tuesday at TD Garden. After stringing together six consecutive wins, Boston enters this week in the midst of a three-game losing streak, including a 3-2 shootout loss against Philadelphia on Sunday. Owning the second-ranked defense, the Bruins are currently allowing just 2.41 goals per game. At the heart of that defense, goaltender Tuukka Rask has posted a 7-2-1 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. On offense, David Pastrnak leads the team in scoring with 30 points, including a league-best 15 goals. For the Panthers, look for Evgenii Dadonov to do some damage in this game. The 30-year-old winger has been on a tear as of late, posting five points (two goals, three assists) over his last three games. In his career against the Bruins, he's recorded eight points in 11 contests.

TV: FSF

Radio: 560 WQAM (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST)

Watch Party: Twin Peaks - Davie

Thursday: Winnipeg Jets, 7:00 p.m.

Following their road trip, the Panthers will return to Sunrise to kick off a four-game homestand against the Jets (10-7-1) at BB&T Center on Thursday. Winnipeg has won four of its last five games entering this week, including a 3-2 overtime win against Dallas on Sunday. In that game, Mark Scheifele scored the game-winning goal just 21 seconds into the extra frame, which also moved him into a tie with a Nikolaj Ehlers for the most goals on the team with seven. He also ranks first on the team in points (17), cracking the scoresheet in five of his last seven games. At the other end of the ice, look for Aleksander Barkov to lead the charge on offense for the Panthers. Riding a five-game goal streak, the 23-year-old captain has notched multi-point performances in four of his last five outings. Leading the team in scoring, he ranks tied for seventh in the NHL in points (22), while also boasting the fifth-most assists (17). In his career against the Jets, Barkov has three goals and three assists in 10 games, with two of those goals from on the power play.

TV: FSF

Radio: 560 WQAM (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST)

In-Arena Activations: 50/50 Raffle; $5 Beer Thursday; Grateful Dead Night; Harvest Drive; Student Rush

Tickets: HERE

Saturday: New York Rangers, 7:00 p.m.

Less than a week after battling in the Big Apple, the Panthers will host the Rangers (7-6-2) at BB&T Center on Saturday. New York has won five of its last eight games, but enters the week fresh off a 6-5 shootout loss to Florida on Sunday. Prior to that game, the Rangers had been playing some of their best defense of the season, surrendering just one goal in three of their previous five matchups. Artemi Panarin leads the team in goals (8) and points (18). Currently riding an eight-game point streak, the 28-year-old has registered four goals and eight assists during that hot stretch. For the Panthers, keep an eye on Brian Boyle in this one. Scoring the game-tying goal in the third period in the last meeting between these two clubs, the 34-year-old center has been a big contributor all over the ice since joining the team on a one-year contract on Oct. 20. In nine games, he's posted three goals, two assists and 16 hits, while also winning a team-leading 59.4 percent of his faceoffs - including going 14-for-17 in the circle on Sunday.

TV: FSF

Radio: 560 WQAM (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST)

In-Arena Activations: 50/50 Raffle Guaranteed $25,000 Pot; Hockey Fights Cancer Night; Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey Auction; Territory Takeover (Miami)

Tickets: HERE

MILESTONE WATCH

- Keith Yandle is five goals away from his 100th NHL goal.

- Evgenii Dadonov is three assists away from his 100th NHL assist.

- Joel Quenneville is two wins away from his 900th win as a head coach in the NHL.

PROSPECT SPOTLIGHT

Spencer Knight had himself quite a weekend between the pipes.

In a home-and-home series against UConn, the 18-year-old freshman was simply outstanding while manning the crease for Boston College during both games. On Friday, he stopped all 30 shots that came his way to earn his second shutout of the season in a 6-0 win. The next night, he faced far less action but was still just as impressive, stopping 16 of 17 shots in a 5-1 win.

Tweet from @BCHockey: Two shutouts in his first eight starts for @slknight30#WeAreBC🦅 pic.twitter.com/bny45T5v8H

The 13th overall pick by the Panthers in the 2019 NHL Draft, Knight has gone 5-4-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and a pair of shutouts in nine starts this season.

HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER NIGHT

In partnership with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Panthers will host their annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Saturday when the New York Rangers visit Sunrise.

A league-wide initiative, Hockey Fights Cancer month unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families. In a sign of solidarity, Florida's website, mobile app and social media channels have been turned purple in honor of Hockey Fights Cancer, and fans are also encouraged to use #HockeyFightsCancer to join the conversation and share their stories.

Fans attending this game are encouraged to fill out cards to support those battling the disease. These cards will be located at the Foundation table outside of Club Lexus and in seats. The first 10,000 fans will also receive a rally towel courtesy of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Panthers players will wear special Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys during warm-ups, with select jerseys being available for auction/raffle outside of Club Lexus afterwards. Additionally, for those that can't make it to the game, some jerseys will be put up for sale in an online auction HERE.

All proceeds from these sales will benefit the Florida Panthers Foundation.

During the game, Panthers coaches and broadcasters will wear tokens to raise awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer. Fans are also encouraged to wear purple in order to show their support. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is a part of UHealth, which is the University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Standing out as South Florida's only Cancer Center of Excellence, they are among the nation's leading cancer centers.

HARVEST DRIVE

The Panthers will be partnering with Harvest Drive for a food drive on Thursday.

If you'd like to help, fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the JetBlue Tarmac outside BB&T Center prior to Florida's matchup with the Winnipeg Jets at 7:00 p.m.

The first 50 fans to donate will receive a $5 gift card to Twin Peaks. 

Assisting more than 2,000 food insecure families during the Thanksgiving season, Harvest Drive is a yearlong project that culminates with families receiving a complete meal and a week's worth of groceries, as well as personal and household necessities to aid them throughout the holidays.

For more information on the Panthers' 2019-20 Community Drives, please click HERE.

CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK

In the first of several honors he'll likely receive in retirement, former Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo was recently inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame.

Video: 2019 Broward Sports Hall of Fame

CATS IN THE COMMUNITY

Tweet from @FlaPanthersCARE: First session of #LearnToPlay at @PinesIceArena ������Can���t wait to see everyone next week! pic.twitter.com/SZVHCNHLB9

Tweet from @FlaPanthersCARE: Happy #NationalSTEMDay to all of our @FutureGoalsSTEM #HockeyScholar students & teachers! Learn More �� https://t.co/MbRvImSSV1 pic.twitter.com/WyRJC04b8J

Tweet from @FlaPanthersCARE: Thank you @SalArmyBroward for the honor! pic.twitter.com/vXkpFNJk4s

TERRITORY TALK

On the latest episode of the Territory Talk podcast, Panthers winger Brett Connolly joins the show to talk about the thrill of winning the Stanley Cup, his role as a veteran leader and more!

COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)

-- Check out "5 Takeaways" to re-live Sunday's thrilling 6-5 shootout win in New York.

-- Jonathan Huberdeau recently penned the first Panthers player blog of the season.

-- Hear from Colton Sceviour about skating in his 400th NHL game.

-- Panther Conservation Night is coming up on Nov. 19.

-- Dominic Toninato was thrilled to hear he'd been called up by the Panthers.

-- The Panthers were gambling for a good cause at this year's "Ice & Dice" Casino Night.

-- The "Sahlen's Red Hot Value Pack" is back and better than ever.

-- John Colombo has been named Senior Director of the Florida Panthers Foundation.

-- Don't miss "Yoga Day" at BB&T Center on Dec. 8.

-- Check out interesting pieces of Panthers history in the Virtual Vault.

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