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PREVIEW: Bobrovsky in procure as Panthers face defending champs in …

After opening up their four-sport avenue trudge with a 3-2 clutch in Detroit, the Panthers noticed their two-sport winning creep snapped with a 5-1 loss at Dallas on Sunday. Carter Verhaeghe netted the lone purpose for the Panthers as Jake Oettinger stopped 27 of 28 pictures in the crease for the Stars.

Thru 41 video games, Florida sits a 18-19-4, but finest six facets out of a playoff space.

“It be clearly a gargantuan avenue trudge for us against some apt competitors,” Panthers defenseman Josh Mahura talked about. “We’re placing that sport [in Dallas] gradual us, searching for to salvage the apt stuff we did and ship it into this sport. … We’re clearly going to ship our finest sport of the trudge to this level. Must you originate the trudge 1-1, you in actuality are searching for to make certain you receive that third one.”

Selected to the 2023 NHL All-Famous particular person Sport, Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers in dreams (20), assists (29) and facets (49). Brandon Montour and Verhaeghe are tied for 2nd in scoring with 32 facets every, whereas Verhaeghe ranks 2nd to Tkachuk in dreams with 19 of his possess.

Making some lineup adjustments heading into tonight’s matchup, Aleksandar Barkov will probably be flanked by Lundell and Sam Reinhart on the high line, whereas Verhaeghe will settle in with Sam Bennett and Tkachuk on the 2nd, and Eric Staal will toddle on as much as heart the third.

“Fiddling with Barky, that’s one thing you largely are searching for to realize,” Lundell talked about. “I would possibly honest try to accomplish my finest, make plays and honest try to assist him as great as I’m in a position to.”

Sliding assist into the crease after backing up Spencer Knight against the Stars, Sergei Bobrovsky will receive the commence against the Avalanche. Over his final eight appearances, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner has gone 4-4-0 with a .917 attach percentage and one shutout.

Sitting at 20-15-3, the Avalanche snapped out of a 5-sport lunge with a 3-2 overtime clutch at Edmonton on Saturday. Trailing 2-0 heading into the third length, Nathan MacKinnon and Brad Hunt scored to make it 2-2 before Cale Makar buried the game-winning purpose in the additional frame.

After ranking fourth in the NHL in scoring in 2021-22, the Avalanche have not packed quite the identical punch this season as they presently immoral twenty fifth with a median of two.87 dreams per contest. Cherish the Panthers, they’ve also endured their aesthetic share of injuries this season. As well to losing MacKinnon for roughly a month, Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog, who scored 30 dreams final season, has but to swimsuit up this season after undergoing knee surgery in October.

That being talked about, the Avalanche gentle boast about a of the high particular particular person skills in the NHL with avid gamers esteem Mikko Rantanen (forty eight facets), MacKinnon (38 facets) and Makar (37 facets) as cornerstones. Coming off an gargantuan season, Makar obtained both the Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy in 2021-22.

“The manner he strikes on the ice and what he brings to the desk, he’s roughly one amongst the generating forces for them,” Mahura talked about of Makar. “You noticed it final year in the playoffs and with what he’s been in a location to realize this season. With guys esteem that, or no longer it is honest searching for to make him protect as great as that that you just would possibly imagine as a result of after they’ve the puck on their stick they’re unhealthy from wherever on the ice.”

After initiating every of the final 11 video games for Colorado, Alexander Georgiev, who has posted a 16-10-3 document with a .916 attach percentage this season, would possibly perhaps potentially receive the nod again.

Going by arrangement of off for the first time this season, the Panthers and Avalanche split their season series in 2021-22. In that two-sport series, every team defended their house ice, including the Panthers winning 4-1 on Oct. 21, 2021 at FLA Live Arena gradual a 30-attach efficiency from Bobrovsky.

“They’ve bought some world-class guys,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice talked about of the Avalanche. “They’ve obtained, and they also know how laborious it is. They are in a position to changing into that team. They receive hot, and off they toddle. They’ve had some challenges with injuries, as I assume all and sundry does over the route [of the season]. We’re going to ask their very, finest that that you just would possibly imagine.”

THEY SAID IT

“If we are going to have the option to play our sport that all and sundry knows how to play, and if we play a fleshy 60 minutes with the self assurance that we are going to have the option to play with, I agree with we are going to have the option to make this a mammoth sport.” Radko Gudas

“Just cease certain and imagine in what we’re doing. Just preserve grinding, preserve battling. That is all we are going to have the option to realize. We honest want to assist every different, cease together and offers 100% in every sport.” Anton Lundell

WHO’S HOT?

Panthers: Matthew Tkachuk has 10 facets (six dreams, four assists) over his final seven video games. … Aleksander Barkov has 11 facets (four dreams, seven assists) over his final 9 video games. … Eric Staal has seven facets (5 dreams, two assists) over his final 9 video games.

Avalanche: Mikko Rantanen has 12 facets (seven dreams, 5 assists) over his final 11 video games. … Cale Makar has eight facets (three dreams, 5 assists) over his final six video games. … Nathan MacKinnon has four facets (two dreams, two assists) over his final three video games.

FIVE CATS STATS

– Matthew Tkachuk has 15 assists in 15 profession video games against the Avalanche.

– Brandon Montour leads Florida’s defensemen with 32 facets (six dreams, 26 assists).

– Carter Verhaeghe has notched no no longer as much as one level in 10 of his final 16 video games.

Gustav Forsling ranks fifth among NHL defensemen in even-energy facets (21).

– Sam Bennett leads all Panthers forwards with 103 hits.

PANTHERS PROJECTED LINEUP (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Forwards

Anton Lundell – Aleksander Barkov – Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaeghe – Sam Bennett – Matthew Tkachuk

Eetu Luostarinen – Eric Staal – Slash Cousins

Ryan LombergColin WhiteGivani Smith

Defensemen

Gustav Forsling – Aaron Ekblad

Marc Staal – Brandon Montour

Josh Mahura – Radko Gudas

Goaltender

Sergei Bobrovsky

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

– Jan 5: F Chris Tierney recalled from Charlotte (AHL)

– Jan. 3: F Givani Smith recalled from Charlotte (AHL)

– Jan. 1: F Chris Tierney loaned to Charlotte (AHL)

HOW TO WATCH

When: Sunday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 p.m. ET

Where: Ball Arena – Denver, CO

TV & Streaming: Hulu, ESPN+

Radio: 96.5 WPOW-FM HD-2 (Dade/Broward); 1230 WBZT (Palm Sea drag); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); SiriusXM App & Streaming Channel 932; NHL App

PREGAME LISTEN

Hear from captain Aleksander Barkov on the latest episode of the Territory Talk podcast.

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