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Reimer Returns as Panthers Kick Off 5-Game Road Trip in Edmonton

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

2/12/18 Morning Skate

2/12/18 Morning Skate

Interviews with Bob Boughner, Colton Sceviour, Mark Pysyk and Alex Petrovic

  • 02:15 •

After being sidelined nearly weeks while recovering from a lower-body injury, goaltender James Reimer will make his return to the net for the Florida Panthers when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Monday night.

Reimer, 29, has been out of action since injuring his groin while attempting to make a save in the first period of an eventual 6-1 loss to the Stars on Jan. 23. After starter Roberto Luongo went down with a lower-body injury on Dec. 4, Reimer started 18 of 19 games for the Panthers, going 9-6-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and two shutouts.

In Reimer's absence, third-string goaltender Harri Sateri made six consecutive starts for the Panthers, posting a 4-2-0 record with a .932 save percentage and 2.19 goals against average. Sateri suffered his first loss in two weeks when Florida's four-game winning streak was snapped with a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.

"I think our consistency's been pretty good," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said after Monday's morning skate in Edmonton. "I think that we're in every game and our goaltending's been solid. I thought we'd tighten it up defensively a little bit. We've got to make sure we're in the right mindset here tonight when we start this road trip off."

The Panthers (23-23-6) are currently nine points in back of the Carolina Hurricanes for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with two games and hand and will kick off a crucial five-game road trip against an Edmonton team looking to shake out of a slump.

"Making a playoff push here, we've really got to get off to a start on this trip," said Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic, an Edmonton native. "Being at home, it's going to be good."

The Oilers (23-27-4) are winless in their past three games, allowing 14 total goals over the course of a three-game road trip through Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose. In their most-recent contest, the team came back from a 3-0 deficit, but lost 6-4 to the Sharks on Saturday.

On special teams, the Oilers boast the league's 30th-ranked power play (15 percent) and 31st-ranked penalty kill (72 percent). "There's a lot to play for, for a lot of guys" Oilers forward Ryan Strome said. "We get paid to come to the rink every day, do our best and perform. It's our job. That's kind of been them message all year. No matter how disappointing your ups and downs go, you've just got to come to the rink, work hard and get ready to play."

For the Panthers, the game will likely come down to containing Edmonton's superstar center, Connor McDavid. The reigning Hart Trophy winner, McDavid leads the Oilers in both goals (22) and assists (42), with his 64 points placing him fourth in the league's scoring race.

McDavid, 21, has three points (1-2-3) in two career games against Florida.

"He's a dangerous player out there for the opposing team," Petrovic said. "I think if you just kind of take away his speed, stay on top of him a little bit more, and just keep an eye out on him when he's out there, you just kind of shut him down that way."

NOTES

- The Panthers signed forward Colton Sceviour to a three-year contract extension on Monday. The 28-year-old forward has appeared in 46 games with Florida this season, recording 14 points (7-7-14) while also playing a pivotal role on the penalty kill. This season, he ranks second among the club's forwards in average shorthanded ice time per game (2:25).

- Evgenii Dadonov will play in his 100th NHL game tonight. In his first season since signing a three-year deal to join the Panthers this summer, the 28-year-old winger ranks fourth on the team in points (31) and goals (tied-11), while also ranking third in power-play points (9).

- Aaron Ekblad ranks first among Florida's defensemen in goals (11), power-play goals (3) and shots (139), while also leading the team in even-strength ice time (988:36). The 22-year-old, top-pairing blue liner has also had quite a bit of success against the Oilers, notching four assists over his last five games against Edmonton.

- Over Florida's last five games, six of its 15 goals have been scored by defensemen, with Keith Yandle, Aaron Ekblad and Mike Matheson each scoring two goals.

PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Evgenii Dadonov - Aleksander Barkov - Nick Bjugstad

Jonathan Huberdeau - Vincent Trocheck - Denis Malgin

Jamie McGinn - Jared McCann - Maxim Mamin

Micheal Haley - Derek MacKenzie - Colton Sceviour

Defense

Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson - Mark Pysyk

MacKenzie Weegar - Alex Petrovic

Goalies

James Reimer

Harri Sateri

Scratches: Ian McCoshen, Radim Vrbata, Connor Brickley

Injured Reserve: Roberto Luongo (games missed: 25)

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

- Feb. 7: G James Reimer activated from IR

- Feb. 7: G Samuel Montembeault loaned to Springfield (AHL)

- Jan. 29: G Samuel Montembeault recalled from Springfield (AHL)

- Jan. 29: F Maxim Mamin recalled from Springfield (AHL)

- Jan. 29: D Ian McCoshen recalled from Springfield (AHL)

HOW TO WATCH

When: Monday, Feb. 12, 9:00 p.m. ET

Where: Rogers Place - Edmonton, AB

TV coverage: FOX Sports Florida (check local listings)

Florida Panthers Radio Network Presented by HARD Lifestyle Beverages: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast)

Where to stream it: FOX Sports GO and NHL.TV (outside state of Florida)

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