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Florida Panthers GameDay

GameDay 49: Lineups, Betting Odds for Panthers at Wild

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Frank Vatrano celebrates the Florida Panthers’ 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild with goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on Nov. 20. Vatrano was the first star of the game with two goals — and could be back in the Florida lineup Friday night against the Wild. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

In looking at the scoresheet, Sergei Bobrovsky made 16 saves in the Florida Panthers win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

Six of those stops came in the second period.

Lucas Carlsson did not get credit for any of them.

Carlsson did end up with two blocked shots — both of them perhaps helping the Panthers to their 3-2 overtime win.

“It was an unbelievable save,” Andrew Brunette said afterward. “It was Bob-like.”

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Florida was trailing the Hurricanes 1-0 early in the second when Bobrovsky came out to play the puck. Jesperi Kotkaniemi batted the loose puck toward the goal. Bobrovsky was too far out to properly play it.

Lucky for Bobrovsky and the Panthers, Carlsson had slid in behind his goalie and was able to somehow get the shaft of his stick on the shot. Jaccob Slavin jumped on that loose puck but put it off the crossbar.

Carlsson’s block in the vacated net, and later a block with his body while down on the ice, kept the Panthers from falling into a 2-0 hole.

That allowed Sasha Barkov to tie the score later in the period and help keep Florida close enough for some last-minute heroics from Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad.

“The guy had an open net so I was just trying to cover most of the net and it hit my stick,” Carlsson said following Florida’s practice in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday afternoon.

“I am just happy I saved it. I had no idea what was going on. I was just lying there, waving my stick. I guess it was lucky.”

It was yet another top play by a young defenseman who continues to get playing time with the Panthers.

Carlsson, who came to the team in the Brett Connolly salary dump last season, is making the most of limited minutes (he did not play seven on Wednesday) but has  up good numbers in a bottom-six pairing.

In 26 games this season, Carlsson has a pair of goals and eight points. He had 18 games of NHL experience in three seasons with the Blackhawks before coming to the Panthers.

FRANK THE TANK RETURNS?

The Panthers could be switching things up for Friday night, at least a little bit.

According to Jameson Olive of FloridaPanthers.com, the Panthers had Patric Hornqvist up on the second line in Thursday’s practice.

Frank Vatrano, who has been a healthy scratch in six of the past nine games, was on the fourth line replacing Ryan Lomberg.

Vatrano scored two goals the last time Florida played the Wild.

Brunette said it was possible Noel Acciari worked into the lineup.

UPDATE: Acciari is in, Vatrano is not.

“We’ll make some changes, possibly get Acch back in for one of the next two games. We haven’t really decided yet,’’ Brunette said. “Moving some things around, looking at how we finished (Wednesday) for the most part. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

— Bobrovsky will start for the Panthers on Friday night.

— Minnesota comes into the night winners of eight of its past 10 — but is coming off a 6-3 loss to Winnipeg on Wednesday night.

Florida comes into the game as the NHL’s scoring leader with an average of 4.06 goals per night; Minnesota ranks third at 3.78.

The two are ranked 17th (2.88) and 18th (2.91) respectively in goals-against.

— The Wild has won 13 of 14 on home ice.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT MINNESOTA WILD

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair

11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 8 Sam Bennett // 70 Patric Hornqvist

17 Mason Marchment  // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart

94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 55 Noel Acciari

52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad

42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas

32 Lucas Carlsson // 62 Brandon Montour

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

35 Jonas Johansson

Scratched: Owen Tippett, Frank Vatrano, Olli Juolevi

Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Maxim Mamin (IR), Chase Priskie (IR), Joe Thornton (IR)

PROJECTED MINNESOTA WILD LINEUP

97 Kirill Kaprizov // 38 Ryan Hartman // 36 Mats Zuccarello

22 Kevin Fiala // 89 Frederick Gaudreau // 12 Matthew Boldy

18 Jordan Greenway // 14 Joel Eriksson Ek // 17 Marcus Foligno

52 Connor Dewar // 7 Nico Sturm // 21 Brandon Duhaime

25 Jonas Brodin // 46 Jared Spurgeon

4 Jon Merrill //47 Alex Goligoski

8 Jordie Benn // 29 Dmitry Kulikov

33 Cam Talbot

34 Kaapo Kahkonen

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