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Stars @ Panthers: Lines, Goalies, Odds, How 2 Watch

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Florida Panthers defenseman Gus Forsling gets a warm greeting from former teammate Mason Marchment during the team’s morning skate on Wednesday in Sunrise. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers have a look at what could have been in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final tonight when they play host to the Dallas Stars.

Florida got a long and hard look at Dallas while waiting for over a week after sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final.

While the Vegas Golden Knights came out victorious — against both the Stars and eventually the Panthers — they know exactly what they are getting into when the two teams clash for the first time this season in front of a national audience on Wednesday.

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“We both use all four [lines], we are similar in style — we both have enough size and weight to grind a bit — so it’ll be be hard to get to the net for both teams,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a low-event game. There is enough skill on both sides that are going to get their chances. If it’s played right by both teams, somebody is going to hit the inside of the post instead of the outside of the post. Maybe [the difference] will be one save, maybe it will be a special teams game even though there isn’t a lot of [penalties], you take the chances you can get.”

If this game turns into a special teams game, the Panthers could be in some trouble.

The Stars have the league’s 12th best power play at 22.7 percent and the second-best penalty kill at 88.7 percent.

Florida meanwhile, has worked its way up to 12th after initially starting the season dead last in the league before a scorching hot November helped them work their way up while its power play has struggled mightily this season.

“We need to get that urgency up in creating chances, shooting the puck and getting in front of the goal,” Brandon Montour said.

”We have a big test with that goalie and hopefully we can be on the better end of that.”

That goalie is Jake Oettinger and he has been a huge reason behind Dallas’ success.

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He is 10-5-2 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.53 goals-against average in 17 starts.

Florida Panthers Not Worried About Struggles on the Power Play

Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start for the Panthers boasting the seventh-best goals-against average in the league at 2.41.

While his .912 save percentage does not rank as high, Florida has done a solid job keeping the quality and quantity of chances in front of him to a minimum.

“It should be good keeping the volume down for the goaltender,” Maurice said.

“It means it’s a different mental game for them. There are stretches they don’t see action but over time, it should be good.

“There is nothing really new for Sergei [or Anthony Stolarz]  now. They know the defensive zone coverage, they know where to expect the the pucks to come. Now, they are comfortable with the penalty kill and understand where the pucks are coming on net.”

Jonah Gadjovich will also draw into the lineup for the Panthers, replacing Steven Lorentz.

ON DECK

DALLAS STARS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • National TV/Streaming: TNT, HBO Max
  • Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-120); Puck line (-1.5, +195); Over/Under 6.5 (+105/-125)
  • Last Season: Dallas won 2-0
  • This Season — At Florida: Wednesday. At Dallas: March 12.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 24-21-2, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS (14-8-2) LINES

17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 21 Nick Cousins

12 Jonah Gadjovich // 82 Kevin Stenlund // 94 Ryan Lomberg

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Uvis Balinskis, Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz

Injured: None

PROJECTED DALLAS STARS (14-6-3) LINEUP

21 Jason Robertson // 24 Roope Hintz // 16 Joe Pavelski

27 Mason Marchment // 95 Matt Duchene // 91 Tyler Seguin

14 Jamie Benn // 53 Wyatt Johnston // 63 Evgenii Dadonov

18 Sam Steel // 12 Radek Faksa // 15 Craig Smith

20 Ryan Suter // 4 Miro Heiskanen

23 Esa Lindell // 2 Jani Hakanpaa

55 Thomas Harley // 44 Joel Hanley

29 Jake Oettinger

41 Scott Wedgewood

Scratched: Ty Dellandrea, Nils Lundkvist

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