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Power Play on Fire as Panthers Visit Rangers

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop /

11/17/18 Morning Skate

11/17/18 Morning Skate

Interviews with Bob Boughner, Keith Yandle and Troy Brouwer

  • 01:39 •

The Florida Panthers will be looking to rebound from their first loss in more than two weeks when they head to Madison Square Garden for an early-season rematch with the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

After suffering a 5-2 loss in New York on Oct 23, the Panthers went on a 6-3-0 run before seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end with a 7-3 loss on Thursday night in Columbus. In that game, they jumped out a 2-0 lead before being outscored 7-1 over the final two periods.

"We want to move on from that," Panthers winger Troy Brouwer said. "We want to be a real good hockey team in this league, so we want to have a real good bounce-back game tonight."

While Florida's turnaround can be chalked up to an improvement in the team's all-around play, it's the offense that continues to perform at a historic clip. The team has been averaging 3.19 goals per game and converting 23.2 percent of its power plays - both all-time highs for the club.

The Panthers scored twice on the man advantage against the Blue Jackets, improving to 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) over the last six games. During that span, six different players have scored a power play goal, while 10 have registered a point, including top-unit quarterback Keith Yandle.

Yandle, 32, leads the Panthers is both goals (tied-3) and points (9) on the power play.

"We've gotten an abundance of shots," Yandle said of Florida's power play, which leads the NHL with 12 goals on the road. "We're finding ways to get pucks to the net, getting rebounds. I think probably the biggest thing is getting in the zone, getting time to set up. The centermen are doing a great job of winning faceoffs, and that means we're starting with the puck."

In terms of individual offensive performances, Mike Hoffman continues to re-write the history books in his first season with the Panthers. With an assist in Columbus, the 28-year-old winger registered a point in his 14th-consecutive game, surpassing Hall of Famer Pavel Bure's franchise record of 13 set during the 1999-00 campaign.

"It'd be a little better if we could celebrate tonight," Hoffman said after the game. "But we'll have to wait for another point for that."

Looking to get back into the win column quickly, Panthers coach Bob Boughner is adjusting his lineup for the first time since Nov. 2 - a span of six-games. Back in are forward Maxim Mamin and defenseman Mark Pysyk, while forward Denis Malgin and defenseman Alexander Petrovic take a seat. Pysyk has been out of the lineup since suffering an injury on Oct. 19 in Washington.

"We've got a quick turnaround," Yandle said. "We're going to come ready to play tonight and redeem ourselves."

The Rangers (9-8-2) had gained a point in seven straight games before enduring a 7-5 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Chris Kreider scored twice for the Rangers in that loss to push his team-leading total to 10. Of those goals, six have come in the last eight games.

New York traded forward Ryan Spooner to Edmonton for forward Ryan Strome on Friday.

"Teams that are both quick," Boughner said of tonight's matchup. "I think that both teams play with some good team-speed. I think we've got to do a good job of not letting these guys get behind us. I thought we were a little guilty of that against Columbus. We've got to make sure that we're ready to play when the puck drops. This is a building that if you're not, they can jump on you quick."


-- Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov ranks tied for first in the NHL with 27 takeaways, while also leading all forwards with 22:32 of ice time per game. The 23-year-old also enters tonight's contest with five points (three goals, two assists) over his last five games.

-- Evgenii Dadonov leads the Panthers in points (17), goals (8) and even-strength goals (6).

-- Over the last five games, Florida has gone 14-for-15 on the penalty kill.

-- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has scored a power-play goal in each of the last two games.

-- Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson has tallied three assists over his last four games.

-- Florida is 3-1-0 over its last four games at Madison Square Garden.


Roberto Luongo (4-1-0, 2.18 GAA, .930 SV%) vs. Henrik Lundqvist (6-6-2, 2.76 GAA, .915 SV%)

Luongo will suffered his first loss on the season on Thursday, allowing six goals on 36 shots in Columbus. That said, the 39-year-old has been stellar to start the season, stopping 160 of the 172 shots he's faced for a .930 save percentage - which is tied for the sixth-best mark in the league among goaltenders with at least five appearances. In his career against the Rangers, he has gone 9-13-4 with a 2.97 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and three shutouts.

Lundqvist is expected to start for the Rangers after allowing five goals on 17 shots in Thursday's loss to the Islanders. The 36-year-old has allowed three-or-more goals in three of his last four starts, going 2-1-1 during that span. In his career against the Panthers, he has gone 24-10-3 with a 2.06 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and five shutouts.



Evgenii Dadonov - Aleksander Barkov - Mike Hoffman

Jonathan Huberdeau - Vincent Trocheck - Frank Vatrano

Maxim Mamin - Jared McCann - Nick Bjugstad

Troy Brouwer - Juho Lammikko - Colton Sceviour


Mike Matheson - Aaron Ekblad

Keith Yandle - Mark Pysyk

Bogdan Kiselevich - MacKenzie Weegar


Roberto Luongo

James Reimer

Scratches: Alexander Petrovic, Denis Malgin

Injured Reserve: Derek MacKenzie (shoulder), Jamie McGinn (back)


- Nov. 13: F Micheal Haley was loaned to Springfield (AHL) for conditioning.

- Nov. 5: G Michael Hutchinson was loaned to Springfield (AHL).

- Nov. 1: G Roberto Luongo was activated form the injured reserve list.

- Oct. 26: C Derek MacKenzie was placed on the injured reserve list.


When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

TV: Fox Sports Florida (Alternate Channels Below)

- DISH CH. #: 441

- DSH HD CH. #: 9579

- DISH HOPPER CH. #: 412-29

- DTV HD CH.#: 654-1

- AT&T CH. #: 721

- AT&T HD CH. #: 1721

Stream: HERE

Florida Panthers Radio Network: AM 1450 / FM 101.9 WOCN (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast)

Watch Party: Thanks to the new "Territory on Tap" program, every road game now offers a chance for a watch party in South Florida! To see which local bars and restaurants will have drink specials and giveaways for today's game, visit the official "Territory on Tap" page

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