The last time the Florida Panthers visited Columbus, they absolutely dominated the Blue Jackets yet found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-3 score.
Despite dominating time of possession, holding a 96-38 advantage in shot attempts and getting 50 shots on goal, the Panthers left central Ohio with another loss.
They cannot afford one tonight as Florida comes into the day a point back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Pittsburgh plays host to the Bruins this afternoon.
The Panthers look a little different than they did that Sunday night in November as Sergei Bobrovsky and Sam Bennett will miss tonight’s game due to lingering illness and injury.
That is nothing compared to what the Blue Jackets are going through.
Aside from the likes of Johnny Gaudreau and Boone Jenner, the Blue Jackets look more like their AHL team in Cleveland than an NHL team as they have lost Patrik Laine, Erik Gudbranson, Adam Boqvist and Elvis Merzlikins among others to injuries in the past week.
Of course, the Blue Jackets are a NHL team — just ask the Boston Bruins who needed overtime to pull out a 2-1 win against them on Thursday night.
“We haven’t disrespected any team and they beat us in here,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “I loved the game we played. We are at the point of the season where the vast majority of the video we will show will be on us and how we want to play the game and do the things we want to accomplish.”
With Bobrovsky out, Alex Lyon gets a third consecutive start after beating Toronto and Montreal on successive nights. Michael Hutchinson, who had a brief stint with the Panthers last season, will be the startin
According to Maurice, the Panthers will roll out the same lineup as they did in Montreal on Thursday.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
- When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida (following Marlins/Mets), ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- DraftKings odds — Panthers favored: Money Line (-255); Puck line (-1.5, -110); Over/Under 7 (+110/-130)
- Season Series (Tied 1-1): Blue Jackets 5, Panthers 3 (Nov. 20); Panthers 4, Blue Jackets 0 (Dec. 13)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Columbus leads 26-16-4
- Up Next for the Panthers: Buffalo Sabres at Florida, Tuesday, 7 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
94 Ryan Lomberg // 12 Eric Staal // 13 Sam Reinhart
21 Nick Cousins // 6 Colin White // 54 Givani Smith
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour
28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas
34 Alex Lyon
29 Mack Guzda
Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald
Injured: Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Sam Bennett (LBI), Sergei Bobrovsky (illness)
PROJECTED COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS LINEUP
13 Johnny Gaudreau // 38 Boone Jenner // 86 Kirill Marchenko
50 Eric Robinson // 91 Kent Johnson // 41 Hunter McKown
19 Liam Foudy // 7 Sean Kuraly // 52 Emil Bemstrom
46 Joona Luoto // 21 Josh Dunne // 36 Justin Richards
75 Tim Berni // 2 Andrew Peeke
15 Gavin Bayreuther // 6 Billy Sweezey
23 Jake Christiansen // 47 Marcus Bjork
31 Michael Hutchinson
32 Jon Gillies