The Panthers arrived in Atlanta early Sunday morning to prepare for Monday’s game against the Thrashers without Kenndal McArdle. The Panthers big forward, who left Saturday’s game in Nashville in the second period with a shoulder injury after fighting Jordin Tootoo for the second time, returned to South Florida where he will be further evaluated over the next couple days.
Coach Peter DeBoer said Sunday that Gregory Campbell, who has missed the last five games with a shoulder injury, was “probable” for Monday’s action.
The Panthers did not skate Sunday but they held a meeting and full team workout Sunday morning at their hotel. The Panthers, who allowed three, third period goals in Nashville and lost 4-1, are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games and 8-4-3 in their last 15 games despite the continued absence of David Booth (concussion) and Cory Stillman (knee). They head into Monday's game against Atlanta with a road record of 7-5-1.
The Panthers have hurt themselves the past few games with turnovers and mental mistakes in their own zone. They’ll have to put a quick stop to that against the Thrashers, who are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games (3-0-1 last four) and come off a huge victory Saturday against the Flyers. In beating Philadelphia, the Thrashers ended what was the NHL’s longest losing streak against one opponent. The Thrashers hadn’t beaten the Flyers in the 14 consecutive games. Their last home win against Philly came on Dec. 21 of 2003.
In another key area Monday will be special teams. The Thrashers currently rank seventh on the power play and third in the penalty kill. The Panthers are 28th on the power play and 29th on the kill.
Ilya Kovalchuk comes into Monday’s game with points in six of his last nine games since returning from a foot injury. For the Panthers, Stephen Weiss
and Nathan Horton each have 10 points (three goals) in their last nine games.