SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers have not won four consecutive games since last season but can do so tonight when they play host to the struggling Winnipeg Jets.
Florida has won three straight just twice this season and know with only 16 games left, they will need to do much better than that.
“We have to go on a run, for sure,’’ coach Paul Maurice said after Friday night’s 4-3 comeback win in overtime against Chicago.
“The team that makes it is the team that goes on a run. Our record is pretty good since Jan. 1, I think the loss to the Rangers was the turn to our season and how hard we compete.”
Said Matthew Tkachuk: “Back-to-backs are fun when you win the first one. I forget who said this, but back-to-backs are the quickest way to get four points. Hopefully we can get two more and we need them.’’
The Panthers are expected to have Sergei Bobrovsky back in net as he plays his third set of back-to-backs this season.
After making 21 saves on Friday night, the Panthers are pretty sure Bobrovsky is more than ready to keep on going — especially with Florida off until playing host to Montreal on Thursday.
This will be the 10th consecutive start for Bobrovsky with Spencer Knight away from the team.
”We played one game coming into (Friday) and we have four days off,” Maurice said. “He is an old-schooler.”
Florida could also have Anthony Duclair back after he missed Friday’s game with an illness.
If not, Casey Fitzgerald would likely be back on the fourth line. He played just 3:12 on Friday night.
PANTHERS ON DECK
WINNIPEG JETS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- DraftKings odds — Panthers favored: Money Line (-130); Puck line (-1.5, +185); Over/Under 6.5 (-115/-105)
- This season (Winnipeg leads 1-0): Jets 5, Panthers 2 (Dec. 6)
- Last season: Florida won 2-0
- All-time regular season series: Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets lead 51-31-8, 5 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
94 Ryan Lomberg // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
21 Nick Cousins // 12 Eric Staal // 6 Colin White
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour
28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
34 Alex Lyon
Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald
Injured: Givani Smith (LTIR-face), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion)
PROJECTED WINNIPEG JETS LINEUP
81 Kyle Connor // 55 Mark Scheifele // 62 Nino Niederreiter
27 Nikolaj Ehlers // 7 Vladislav Namestnikov // 26 Blake Wheeler
36 Morgan Barron // 17 Adam Lowry // 22 Mason Appleton
19 David Gustafsson // 28 Kevin Stenlund // 8 Saku Maenalanen
44 Josh Morrissey // 2 Dylan Demelo
5 Brenden Dillon // 4 Neal Pionk
64 Logan Stanley // 88 Nate Schmidt
37 Connor Hellebuyck
33 David Rittich