The Panthers visit the Prudential Center riding a five-game winning streak, to take on the New Jersey Devils who are looking to avoid being the sixth.
By Patrick Comia
One point separates the two teams in the Eastern Conference standings.
Tonight should be a interesting game to follow just for that reason.
The Devils will look to put a pitchfork in the the Panthers current five-game winning streak when they visit.
Coming off an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday where they looked visibly tired from the night in Raleigh, NC, a day of rest yesterday will hopefully be the trick.
Especially early on, New Jersey was still finding its legs despite opening up the scoring.
But, as been the motto this season, the Devils remained RELENTLESS till the end, coming one goal short of an extra point.
However, all that is in the rear view mirror, and time to look forward to the present.
The Panthers enter tonight as one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the past week with wins over the New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, and Detroit Red Wings.
When comparing the two teams, they are almost identical in this season’s statistics:
2.42 (21st in NHL Goals For Average)
2.38 (9th in NHL Goals Against Average)
20.6 (10th in NHL Power Play Percentage)
2.46 (19th in NHL Goals For Average)
2.36 (7th in NHL Goals Against Average)
20.7 (8th in NHL Power Play Percentage)
But, New Jersey has the upper-hand in being shorthanded. They have the eighth-best penalty kill unit in the NHL with 83.3%.
Who to Watch:
Mike Cammalleri– currently the Devil’s leading scorer with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists), he is coming off two multi-point games in a row. At this pace, Cammalleri could end up with his highest career total in points with 87, since he scored 82 with the Calgary Flames in the 2008-2009 season.
The sniper has been successful versus the Panthers, registering 13 points in 18 games for his career.
Jonathan Huberdeau– after last season’s career-high in points with 54, the fourth-year LW is having a little difficulty finding points after the first quarter of this season. However, Huberdeau shouldn’t be looked over.
In eight career games against New Jersey, he has five points (one goal, four assists).
Battle of the former Master and Padiwan:
In net, we’d like to see the former teammates duke it out on the ice in a game of who was the better goalie with the Canucks.
“Bobby Luo” is 10-15 with a 2.89 goals against average, and save percentage of .911. For the season, Luongo ranks in the top 20 of netminders that includes games played (21- 5th in NHL) and goals against average (2.24- 14th in NHL).
In his past five games, the Panthers starting goaltender is 4-1, that includes four-straight wins and a save percentage that has been above .913.
Schneider has been equally as good, and been one of the reasons why New Jersey is where they are in the standings. His seasons statistics also rank him in the top 20 goaltenders of the league. However, he’s hit a bump in the road in past five games.
Schnieder has gone 1-2-2, allowing two power play goals to the Flyers, after allowing one in his four previous games.
In six career games against the Panthers, he is 3-2 with a 2.15 goals against average and a save percentage of .915.
A reunion of the Ageless Wonder and former club:
Jaromir Jagr returns to the Prudential Center, since being traded by New Jersey back in February. The future Hockey Hall of Famer steps onto familiar ice with his former team, he spent one and half seasons with.
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