Florida will be visiting the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at the United Center in Chicago. This is the second meeting this season between the two teams. Florida is 10-9-4 on the road, while Chicago owns a 18-5-4 home record. For Florida, this is the second game of a difficult three game roadtrip. They dropped a matchup on Wednesday night to the Colorado Avalanche in overtime, 4-3, and go on to play the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday before returning home to face the Philadelphia Flyers just before the All-Star break. Chicago is finishing off a three game homestand. They posted victories against the San Jose Sharks, 4-3 on Sunday and took care of the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2 on Wednesday. They go on the road to play the Nashville Predators tomorrow night.
The teams last met on November 3rd, 2011, with Florida dropping a 3-2 game in a shootout. Stephen Weiss and Ed Jovanovski scored goals for Florida, while Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 of 33 shots in the loss. Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa scored for the Blackhawks, and Patrick Kane scored the shootout winner. Corey Crawford stopped 41 of 43 shots in the win.
In Florida's last game, the Panthers dropped an overtime matchup to the Colorado Avalanche, 4-3 on Wednesday. Tomas Kopecky, Marcel Goc and Stephen Weiss scored for the Cats, while Dmitry Kulikov collected two assists and Jose Theodore allowed four goals on 44 shots in the loss. Peter Mueller scored twice and assisted on a third for Colorado, and Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 26 saves on 29 shots for the win.
Panthers @ Avalanche 01/18/12 (via NHLVideo)
The Blackhawks beat the Buffalo Sabres, 6-2 on Wednesday night, powered by two Jonathan Toews goals and one each from Dave Bolland, Jimmy Hayes, Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw. Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 27 shots in the win.
Season Series: 0-0-1
Sabres @ Blackhawks 01/18/12 (via NHLVideo)
All-Time Series: 9-13-4
Game Time: 8:30 EST
Florida Panthers: 21-14-10, 52 points, second Southeast Division, eighth Eastern Conference, 15th NHL, on pace for 95 points.
Colorado Avalanche: 28-13-6, 62 points, third Central Division, fifth Western Conference, fourth NHL, on pace for 108 points.
Florida Panthers Injuries
Chicago Blackhawks Injuries
1. Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg
2. Kopecky - Goc - Samuelsson
3. Upshall - Matthias - Skille
4. Bradley - Madden - Barch
1. Campbell - Garrison
2. Kulikov - Gudbranson
3. Ellerby - Weaver
Blackhawks left winger Michael Frolik played 213 games over three seasons for the Panthers. He scored 50 goals and 67 assists with a plus-four rating and 81 penalty minutes.
Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador played 196 games for the Panthers over three seasons. He scored 10 goals and 28 assists with a plus-six rating and 260 penalty minutes.
Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell played 215 games for the Panthers over three seasons. He scored 19 goals and 98 assists with a plus-37 rating and 46 penalty minutes.
Panthers center Tomas Kopecky played 155 games for the Blackhawks over two seasons, scoring 25 goals and 38 assists with a minus-13 rating and 88 penalty minutes.
Panthers center John Madden played 79 games for the Blackhawks for the 2009-10 season. He totalled 10 goals and 13 assists with a minus-two rating and 12 penalty minutes.
Panthers right winger Jack Skille played 79 games for Chicago over four seasons, scoring 12 goals and 13 assists with a minus-four rating and 30 penalty minutes.
Florida right winger Kris Versteeg played 160 games for the Blackhawks over three seasons, scoring 44 goals and 57 assists with a plus-22 and 96 penalty minutes.
Points: One more point for Kulikov will give him 66, moving him past Bret Hedican into 45th place.
Kris Versteeg - 17
Tomas Fleischmann - 15
Stephen Weiss, Jason Garrison - 12
Brian Campbell - 31
Stephen Weiss - 23
Kris Versteeg - 22
Dmitry Kulikov, Tomas Fleischmann - 19
Kris Versteeg - 39
Stephen Weiss - 35
Tomas Fleischmann, Brian Campbell - 34
Stephen Weiss - plus-11
Kris Versteeg - plus-nine
Jason Garrison - plus-five
Tomas Fleischmann - plus-three