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Cats & Coffee: Hitting the Road; Season Tickets on Sale

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.

It was around this time last season that the Florida Panthers leapt back into the playoff picture after a last-second win in St. Louis capped off the franchise's first-ever perfect five-game road trip.

That late-season resurgence pushed the Panthers into third place in the Atlantic Division and put them in prime position to reach the postseason heading into an extended homestand at BB&T Center.

Now, they'll need to do it again.

After having their four-game winning streak snapped on Friday against the Kings, Florida enters this week nine points behind Carolina for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with four games in hand.

In order to remain in the playoff hunt, the Panthers will need to re-capture some of that magic from last season's trip as they prepare to embark on a crucial five-game road trip through Canada, which begins Monday in Edmonton.

"We know we've got to put another four-or-five gamer together again," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said after Friday's loss. "I think that's the only way we're going to stick in the pack.

"The guys know that. We'll get a chance to breath a little tomorrow and travel Sunday. We'll review it and talk about the good and the bad and then get ready for another run."

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

THE GAMES

Monday: at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m.

The Panthers will kick off their five-game trip against the underachieving Oilers (23-27-4) at Rogers Place on Monday. Edmonton enters the week having lost four of its last five games while allowing its opponents to score an average of 4.00 goals per game during that span. Still, the Oilers boast one of the league's premier superstars in Connor McDavid, who leads the team in both goals (22) and assists (42), with his 64 points good enough for fourth in the entire league. For the Panthers, look to Aleksander Barkov to find the scoresheet while also limiting McDavid's contributions. Barkov, who is often matched up against other team's top lines, ranks third on the Panthers in points (47) and CF% (52.89), while also sitting second in takeaways (45) and SF% (54.76)

Panthers vs. Oilers: 0-0-0

TV: FSF

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

Wednesday: at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m.

The Panthers will battle the Canucks (22-28-6) for the second time in just over a week when they visit at Rogers Arena on Wednesday. In their previous meeting, Aleksander Barkov scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, to lead Florida to a 3-1 win over Vancouver 3-1 at BB&T Center on Feb. 7. Since then, the Canucks have lost two of three games, but enter the week on the heels of a lopsided 6-0 victory in Dallas on Sunday. Only three teams in the league have fewer points than Vancouver's 50, as the Canucks rank near the bottom in both goals per game (2.6) and goals against (3.2). In this matchup, look for Vincent Trocheck to take advantage of that defense, as Florida's second-line center has tallied at least one point in eight of his last 11 games.

Panthers vs. Canucks: 1-0-0

TV: FSF

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

Saturday: at Calgary Flames, 10 p.m.

A recent injury could decide just how well the Panthers fare against the Flames (29-19-8) at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. Calgary's All-Star goalie Mike Smith suffered a lower-body in the waning seconds of regulation against the Islanders on Sunday and his status for the week remains uncertain. With Smith potentially out of action, Florida could once again draw backup David Rittich, who stopped 41 of 43 shots to lead Calgary to a 4-2 win over the Panthers on Jan. 12 at BB&T Center. In that game, however, Evgenii Dadonov also woke up, scoring a pair of goals to snap a 19-game drought. In the eight games since then top-line winger has notched four points (1-3-4) and is definitely one of Florida's players to keep an eye on during this rematch.

Panthers vs. Flames: 0-1-0

TV: FSF

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

Sunday: at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m.

The Panthers will have a chance to complete a two-game season sweep of the Jets (32-15-9) when they visit Bell MTS Place on Sunday. In their only previous meeting this season, Vincent Trocheck scored a pair of goals to lead Florida to a 6-4 win at BB&T Center on Dec. 7. In their second final matchup of the season, the Panthers could once again be poised to strike, as the Jets enter this week looking to snap out of a two-game losing streak in which they've been outscored by their opponents by a combined score of 8-3. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has allowed three-or-more goals in three of five starts since representing the Jets at the All-Star Game, but has won both of his career starts against the Panthers. Looking to give Hellebuyck a hard time will be Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads Florida with 51 points (18-33-51) in 52 games this season.

Panthers vs. Jets: 1-0-0

TV: FSF

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

MILESTONE WATCH

- Colton Sceviour is four games away from his 300th NHL game.

- Evgenii Dadonov is one game away from his 100th NHL game.

- Aleksander Barkov is nine goals away from his 100th NHL goal.

JOIN THE TERRITORY

There's never been a better time to become a Season Ticket Holder.

Join the Panthers as they celebrate their 25th anniversary during the 2018-19 season and enjoy all the benefits that come with being a Season Ticket Holder, such as merchandise discounts, exclusive savings on concessions and priority access to concerts and events.

These tickets go on sale on Friday, but fans are encouraged to lock in the best available seats by attending a special Seat Preview Event on Thursday at 6 p.m. at BB&T Center. Those interested in attending should call 954-835-PUCK (7825) to RSVP.

"We're here because of your commitment," said Florida Panthers President & CEO Matthew Caldwell to season ticket holders. "Your support and passion for hockey in South Florida means the world to us and we are honored to have you as a part of our family. We look forward to having you as a part of this historic 25th anniversary season, while making exciting new memories."

If you are a current Seaton Ticket Holder, you will be invited to renew your seats beginning on Monday and will enjoy exclusive renewal incentives, including Cats CA$H at early deadlines and the 30 Days of Giveaways.

For a full list of prizes and renewal options, please visit HERE

SUITE SWEEPSTAKES

Want to live the suite life?

You can win 16 suite tickets to watch the Panthers battle the Nashville Predators at BB&T Center on Tuesday, April 3 by entering the Community Coffee "Score a Suite Sweepstakes" from now until Feb. 28. You can learn more and enter to win HERE.

CATS IN THE COMMUNITY

Tweet from @FlaPanthersCARE: #FlaPanthers are hosting a sled hockey clinic @thebbtcenter with Endless Possibilities for the Disabled. #HockeyIsForEveryone pic.twitter.com/MKMbTU7vi7

Tweet from @FlaPanthersCARE: Our @Walmart Shoe Drive to support @SoleRelief is underway now on the @JetBlue Tarmac! pic.twitter.com/OAFbENY3BI

Tweet from @FRLAnews: The #FRLABroward, @browardschools and the @FlaPanthers joined forces this week to host the #FLProStart Culinary Cook-Off at the BB&T Center. See pics: https://t.co/oVtf2WV1B3 pic.twitter.com/lCBghTDeGn

COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)

- What's better than learning math with Mike Matheson? The Panthers recently visited Liberty Elementary School in Margate, Florida to help kids with both hockey and their STEM homework

- Alex Petrovic has come a long way over his first 200 NHL games. You can read all about the defenseman's exciting journey in the latest edition of Petro's Blog.

 - A pair of Jr. Panthers were able to compete at the Mini 1-on-1 Tournament at NHL All-Star Weekend

- Roberto Luongo recently returned to practice and is inching closer to a return in net for the Panthers.  

- Are you ready to #FollowTheHunt

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