COLUMBUS, Ohio — Both the Panthers and Blue Jackets enter into their game Tuesday night coming off disappointing losses.
One is not like the other.
For the Panthers, losing at Carolina 4-2 on Sunday coming off a win in Nashville the day before is definitely not ideal yet based on their past body of work, it’s not a killer.
The Blue Jackets lost 5-0 in Dallas on Saturday night and are trying to fight their way back into the playoff picture.
Columbus got some good news on Monday as goalie Elvis Merzlikins was activated after missing three weeks with a shoulder injury.
Florida and Columbus split the first two games of the season series with both being decided in a shootout.
Merzlikins got the win for the Jackets and could start the second game of the set on Thursday.
Joonas Korpisalo will make his eighth consecutive start Tuesday.
The Panthers will start Sergei Bobrovsky after he got both wins in Nashville last week.
Although the Panthers had Monday off, defenseman Markus Nutivaara was on the ice at Nationwide Arena and returns to the lineup against his former teammates.
Radko Gudas, who went awkwardly into the boards Sunday, was on the ice at Nationwide on Tuesday and looks no worse for wear.
The Panthers also sent rookie Grigori Denisenko back to the taxi squad so Vinnie Hinostroza gets back in on the fourth line.
We will see whether coach Joel Quenneville sticks with the lines he rolled late in Carolina — Mason Marchment joined Jonathan Huberdeau and Sasha Barkov on the top line — at Tuesday’s morning skate.
Based on Tuesday, Marchment stays with Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe.
Not a bad couple of days for Marchment who goes from the taxi squad to scoring two goals with five points in six games up to the top line.
”He brings a controlled aggression to the game where he’s a little but unpredictable but it’s positive,” Quenneville said.
“He is dangerous around the net, has quick hands and can make plays. He brings some physicality.
“He is like a bull in a china shop some days. He brings a little element of recklessness around the net. He showed nice finish the other day with Huberdeau. He has earned the enhanced ice time.”
After practice, Anthony Duclair and Anton Stralman also skated so their return to the lineup could be coming soon.
Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
- TV/Radio: FSF/560-AM
- Records (standings): Florida 15-5-4, 34 points (3rd in Central); Columbus 10-11-5, 25 points (5th)
- All-time series: Columbus leads 24-8-3
- Season series: Tied 1-1
- Last season: Columbus won two of three
- Up next: Florida at Detroit, Saturday, 7 p.m.; Columbus at Chicago, Friday, 8 p.m.
- Previous game: Hurricanes 4, Panthers 2
- Panthers This Week — Tuesday: Florida at Columbus, 7; Thursday: Florida at Columbus, 7; Saturday: Chicago at Florida, 7.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINES
19 Mason Marchment — 16 Sasha Barkov — 23 Carter Verhaeghe
11 Jonathan Huberdeau — 21 Alex Wennberg — 70 Patric Hornqvist
77 Frank Vatrano — 27 Eetu Luostarinen — 55 Noel Acciari
94 Ryan Lomberg — 83 Juho Lammikko — 13 Vinnie Hinostroza
52 MacKenzie Weegar — 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gustav Forsling — 65 Markus Nutivaara
3 Keith Yandle — 7 Radko Gudas
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
60 Chris Driedger
Scratches: D Riley Stillman
Injured: F Anthony Duclair (lower body), D Noah Juulsen (upper body), D Anton Stralman (lower body)
Taxi squad: D Kevin Connauton, F Grigori Denisenko, F Owen Tippett, F Brett Connolly, G Philippe Desrosiers
Florida power play (18/73 24.7% — 10th in NHL)
Florida penalty kill (54/70 77.1% — 19th in NHL)
PP1: Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Patric Hornqvist, Aaron Ekblad, Keith Yandle
PP2: Alex Wennberg, Frank Vatrano, Mason Marchment, Carter Verhaeghe, Gustav Forsling
PROJECTED COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS LINES
71 Nick Foligno — 38 Boone Jenner — 13 Cam Atkinson
29 Patrik Laine — 96 Jack Roslovic — 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand
16 Max Domi — 20 Riley Nash — 52 Emil Bemstrom
50 Eric Robinson — 42 Alexandre Texier — 11 Kevin Stenlund
8 Zach Werenski — 3 Seth Jones
53 Gabriel Carlsson — 58 David Savard
44 Vladislav Gavrikov — 15 Michael Del Zotto
70 Joonas Korpisalo
90 Elvis Merzlikins
Columbus power play (11/68 16.2% — 25th in NHL)
Columbus penalty kill (46/62 74.2% — 24th in NHL)
PP1: Nick Foligno, Jack Roslovic, Cam Atkinson, Patrik Laine, Zach Werenski
PP2: Boone Jenner, Kevin Stenlund, Max Domi, Seth Jones, Oliver Bjorkstrand