The Florida Panthers have won 18 of their past 20 games against the Detroit Red Wings and, with the NHL playoff race so close, they need to make that 19 of 21.
Florida cannot afford a slip-up in Detroit tonight.
The Panthers go into tonight’s game riding a six-game point streak (5-0-1) and are a point out of a playoff spot.
While the New York Islanders hold a three-point lead on Florida for the top wild card spot, they have played two more games.
With the Islanders off tonight, the Panthers have a chance to make up some of that ground.
“The last time we played here, and if you watched their past few games, it is going to be really fast at the start,” coach Paul Maurice said. “They have a team that can skate and move the puck. Their first period against Colorado shows we have to be prepared to match that.
“I like the way we are playing right now. We are playing fast and playing smart. We’re playing fast hockey and hard hockey. We need to keep that going.’’
Florida will be keeping the change made to its top line with Sam Reinhart and Anthony Duclair switching places during Saturday’s comeback win against the Devils.
Reinhart ended up with two goals in the win.
”We are going to leave it as it is,” Maurice said.
The Panthers will have Sergei Bobrovsky back in net for the 13th consecutive game but it appears that run will end tomorrow.
While Maurice would not confirm Alex Lyon starting in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, all signs point that way.
Lyon joined the Charlotte Checkers for a weekend set in Toronto and gave up one goal in two wins.
“We will make a decision after we get through the game tonight,” Maurice said. “But with eight games in under two weeks, Alex is probably going to play in two of them. We have a plan where the strong consideration is him playing tomorrow in Philadelphia. But we’ll make the decision after the game.”
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT DETROIT RED WINGS
- When: Monday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
- Streaming/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 (-180); Puck line (-1.5, +135); Over/Under 6.5 (-130/+110)
- Last season: Florida won 4-0
- This season (Florida leads 2-0): Panthers 5, Detroit 1 (Dec. 8); Panthers 3, Red Wings 2 (Jan. 6)
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 35-19-6, 5 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
94 Ryan Lomberg // 15 Anton Lundell // 10 Anthony Duclair
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-facial injury), Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion)
PROJECTED DETROIT RED WINGS LINEUP
24 Pius Suter // 71 Dylan Larkin // 23 Lucas Raymond
52 Jonatan Berggren // 18 Andrew Copp // 57 David Perron
81 Dominik Kubalik // 90 Joe Veleno // 11 Filip Zadina
73 Adam Erne // 21 Austin Czarnik // 48 Alek Chiasson
96 Jake Walman // 52 Mo Seider
2 Olli Maatta // 82 Jordan Oesterle
3 Simon Edvinsson // 38 Robert Hagg
35 Ville Husso
45 Magnus Hellberg