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Anthony Stolarz to Start for Florida Panthers vs. Blues

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Florida Panthers goaltender Anthony Stolarz is shown during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Anthony Stolarz will start for the Florida Panthers as they close out a four-game road trip against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

It will be Stolarz’s 10th start and just his second since Dec. 23 with Sergei Bobrovsky being red-hot during the team’s seven-game winning streak.

“It’s something I’ve kind of gotten used to over the years,” Stolarz said after making 18 saves on 19 shots in his most recent start against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 30.

“We had the taxi squad during the COVID year when I was in Anaheim, so I ended up laying eight games that year. It’s all about staying ready in practice and working really hard. [Robb Tallas] has a good game plan for me, kinda just getting out early and working on certain little things that kind of replicate a game.

“You want to make the most out of our practice time and stay sharp.”

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In the games he has started, he has not looked rusty.

Stolarz is 5-3-1 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average.

Since Nov. 14, he is 4-2-1 with a .922 save percentage and a 1.91 goals-against average.

He has allowed two or fewer goals in five of the seven starts he made in that span.

“I think guys are doing a great job of boxing guys out and letting Bob and I see the first shot,” Stolarz said. “Then it’s just kind of up to us to control it.

“It’s all about all five guys on the ice buying into playing hard in the defensive zone and you can kind of see the success we’ve had in the past couple of games going from defense to offense, kind of suffocating teams and not letting them get any quality chances.”

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Stolarz credits Bobrovsky for helping keep him ready, too.

Bobrovsky has been known to be the first guy on the ice to work through his routine like clockwork.

The results have been showing for Bobrovsky so far to the tune of a 20-9-1 start with a .911 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average.

Following his lead, Stolarz’s numbers have been right up their with Bobrovsky’s when his name is called.

“He’s always the first guy out there doing his edge work, his skating and it’s something I’ve taken away from him,” Stolarz said.

”How hard he works, how hard he competes in practice and in games and he tries to push me as well. I think that’s what build a good relationship for us and we’re able to build off that.

“When both guys are going in practice, it kind of gets the guys to bear down a little more and it makes it hard for them to score, too.”

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ ST. LOUIS BLUES 

  • When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Enterprise Center, St. Louis
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-190); Puck line (-1.5, +135); Over/Under 6.5 (-105/-120)
  • This Season (St. Louis Leads 1-0) — At Florida: Blues 4, Panthers 1 (Dec. 21). At St. Louis: Tuesday.
  • Last Season: Blues won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: St. Louis leads 27-12-1, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m.

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS (25-12-2) LINES

17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 94 Ryan Lomberg

12 Jonah Gadjovich // 82 Kevin Stenlund // 67 Will Lockwood

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

41 Anthony Stolarz

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz, Mackie Samoskevich

Injured: Nick Cousins (IR-concussion)

PROJECTED ST. LOUIS BLUES (20-17-1) LINES

89 Pavel Buchnevich // 18 Robert Thomas // 25 Jordan Kyrou

20 Brandon Saad // 10 Brayden Schenn // 63 Jake Neighbours

15 Jakub Varna // 12 Kevin Hayes // 42 Kasperi Kapanen

13 Alexey Toropchenko // 70 Oskar Sundqvist // 26 Nathan Walker

4 Nick Leddy // 55 Colton Parayko

47 Torrey Krug // 51 Matthew Kessel

6 Marco Scandella // 48 Scott Perunovich

30 Joel Hofer

50 Jordan Binnington

St. Louis lines courtesy of Matthew DeFranks (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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