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Countdown 19: February 18th vs Detroit

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
The Panthers 2010-11 season is quickly approaching and with that, is taking a look at the top ten questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 16th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top ten on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.

In today's topic, we take a closer look at the game against the Detroit Red Wings on February 18th in the Top 10 Games this season.

It's always a messuring stick when it comes to the Detroit Red Wings. The Western Conference power house has been a model of consistency as well as a model of a winner. Finishing second in the Central Division last season to the eventual Stanley Cup winners Chicago Blackhawks, it was the first time the franchise didn't win the division in 10 years. The Wings in fact last missed the playoffs during the 1989-90 season (20 seasons ago).

This season is no different as the Wings are expected to do well. The Wings will bring a lot of name players to Sunrise on February 18th. Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen are a strong core up front while Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski hold down a solid blueline. Then there's second year pro Jimmy Howard in the nets.

Another new "toy" that Detroit will have at their disposal this season will be forward Mike Modano. With the Stars franchise his entire career, the 20 year pro will play for his home-town team this season (born in Livonia, Michigan). Modano has recorded 1,359 points (557 goals, 802 assists) in 1,459 career NHL games.

Florida hasn't had much success against Detroit in the past. Earning a 2-1 overtime victory over the Wings last season at Joe Louis Arena marked just the fourth victory overall for Florida against them. They are 4-10-5-2 in 21 games, while owning a 2-5-2-2 record in 11 games at home.

That's why a game against the Wings in high up on the Games To Watch list.
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