Anaheim Ducks Visit Florida Panthers: Game 58 Preview

ANAHEIM CA - DECEMBER 01: (L-R) Mike Santorelli #13 of the Florida Panthers shoots the puck as Toni Lydman #32 goaltender Jonas Hiller #1 and Lubomir Visnovsky #17 of the Anaheim Ducks defend the net during the third period at the Honda Center on December 1 2010 in Anaheim California. The Ducks defeated the Panthers 5-3. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Florida has lost two straight at home, but still lead the Washington Capitals by two points for the Southeast Division lead. The Anaheim Ducks visit tonight for their first matchup in over a year.

Florida will be hosting the Anaheim Ducks today at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. This is the only meeting this season between the teams. Florida has a 14-7-7 home record, while the Ducks sport a 9-11-8 record away from Anaheim. Florida is in the third game of a four game homestand. They lost to the Ottawa Senators, 6-2, and to the Washington Capitals, 2-1 on Friday. They finish up against the Minnesota Wild next Thursday. The Ducks are in the sixth game on an eight game roadtrip. They started out by losing in a shootout to the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1 before winning three straight, 5-3 over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1 over the Wild, and 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins. They lost in a shootout to the New Jersey Devils, 3-2 on Friday. They continue on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes.

These teams haven't played since December 1st, 2010. The Ducks beat the Panthers in Anaheim, 5-3. George Parros (2, 3), Ryan Getzlaf (8), Corey Perry (12) and Bobby Ryan (13) scored for Anaheim. Steve Bernier (2, 3) scored two power play goals and Mike Santorelli (7) added a backhander in the second for the Panthers. Jonas Hiller stopped 29 of 32 shots for the victory, while Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 28 shots. Parros, normally an enforcer, spoke later about his two goals on the evening,

"I was feeling really good," Parros said after being named the game's First Star. "It seemed like the pucks were coming to me tonight."

Panthers @ Ducks 12/1/10 (via NHLVideo)

Florida is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Capitals on Friday night. Tomas Fleischmann (19) scored in the first for Florida, and Jose Theodore stopped all 30 shots through the first two periods. Florida couldn't net another goal and allowed the Capitals scored twice in the third to win. Alex Ovechkin (24) and Alexander Semin (16) scored for the Caps. Tomas Vokoun stopped 22 of 23 shots for the victory, and over three games versus the Panthers has allowed only one goal on 85 shots, a .988 save percentage. After the game, Brian Campbell talked about the effort by Jose Theodore,

"He was great all game for us," Florida defenseman Brian Campbell said. "He's been great all season. He was always there for us. We would have liked to have gotten him a couple more to help him out there."

Capitals @ Panthers 02/17/12 (via NHLVideo)

Corey Perry (29) and Sheldon Brookbank (1) scored for Anaheim in the Ducks shootout loss to the Devils on Friday. Adam Henrique (15) and Alexei Ponikarovsky (10) lit the lamp for New Jersey. Patrik Elias netted the game winner in the shootout. Jonas Hiller stopped 25 of 27 shots, while Martin Brodeur allowed two goals on 38 shots in the 3-2 Devils victory. Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau spoke about Anaheim's late season resurgence,

"There's been no quit in this team since the beginning of January," Boudreau said. "They just keep battling. There are a lot of guys with star power and there's an awful lot of no-names who are working their tail off and doing a heck of a job."

Ducks @ Devils 02/17/12 (via NHLVideo)

Season Series: 0-0-0

All-Time Series: 10-8-4

Game Time: 6:00 ET

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Standings:

Florida Panthers: 27-19-11, 65 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 14th NHL, on pace for 94 points. Last five: W-W-W-L-L, Playoff chances: 79.6%

Anaheim Ducks: 24-24-10, 58 points, fifth Pacific Division, 13th Eastern Conference, 24th NHL, on pace for 82 points. Last five: L-W-W-W-O Playoff chances: 4.2%

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