NASHVILLE — The Florida Panthers will close our their four-game road trip against a struggling Nashville Predators team before they head back to Florida for three weeks.
Florida leads the league in road games played (33) after spending much of December and January away from FLA Live Arena.
Once they head home from Bridgestone Arena, they will play 14 of their final 23 games at home.
”We’re at 33 road games to lead the league, so that hasn’t been a good thing for us,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.
Nashville have lost three of their last four games and are coming off of a 5-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Backup goalie Kevin Lankinen is expected to start for the Predators with star goalie Juuse Saros taking the net in Minnesota tomorrow.
Sergei Bobrovsky will start for the Panthers and will try to continue a 8-3-1 stretch since Jan. 1.
”He is just so square and moving out on the shots now,” Maurice said.
”We just had a long conversation about the confidence you get to keep. You get to play well, you get to feel it. He looks like that and the team feels that on back-to-back starts he can get it done.”
Florida will once again be without center Sam Bennett after he left Tuesday’s game in St. Louis in the second period and did not return. Maurice said Friday he still does not believe the injury to be serious.
UPDATE: Givani Smith left Thursday’s win in Washington early and was on the ice for warmups but will not play. Chris Tierney gets back in.
Of note, Nick Cousins is back in Nashville after spending two seasons with the Predators; he plays in his 500th NHL game today.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NASHVILLE PREDATORS
- When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
- Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Sun, 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 (-115); Puck line (-1.5, +200); Over/Under 6.5 (-105/-115) (change later)
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 21-12-6, 3 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Anaheim at Florida, Monday, 1 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
15 Anton Lundell // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
94 Ryan Lomberg // 12 Eric Staal // 14 Grigori Denisenko
21 Nick Cousins // 6 Colin White // 71 Chris Tierney
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
62 Brandon Montour // 18 Marc Staal
28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
30 Spencer Knight
Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR-Achilles), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Sam Bennett (undisclosed), Givani Smith (undisclosed)
Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald
PROJECTED NASHVILLE PREDATORS LINEUP
64 Mikael Granlund // 92 Ryan Johansen // 95 Matt Duchene
22 Nino Niederreiter // 8 Cody Glass // 26 Philip Tomasino
13 Yakov Trenin // 10 Colton Sissons // 84 Tanner Jeannot
36 Cole Smith // 82 Tommy Novak // 75 Juuso Parssinen
27 Ryan McDonagh // 59 Roman Josi
14 Mattias Ekholm // 3 Jeremy Lauzon
5 Kevin Gravel // 57 Dante Fabbro
32 Kevin Lankinen
74 Juuse Saros
Nashville lines courtesy of Alex Daugherty (AtoZ Sports)