banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 1st (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (21-26-7) at Columbus Blue Jackets (27-23-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to close a three-game homestand with a second straight win when they host the Florida Panthers in Saturday's battle at Nationwide Arena.

All told, the Blue Jackets has a stout 10-4-0 record in January. However, after winning a club-record eight consecutive games from Jan. 6-23, Columbus was mired in an 0-3-0 slide before snapping the skid Thursday against Washington.

The Blue Jackets began a three-game homestand with Tuesday's 3-2 loss against Ottawa, but Columbus rebounded with a 5-2 triumph in Thursday's meeting with the Capitals. Ryan Johansen had two goals and Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves to help Columbus get back to its winning ways.

Johansen's two-goal night pushed his team-leading total this season to 21 tallies in 54 games. The 21-year-old had 14 total goals over 107 career games heading into this season.

"He stepped up. I thought (Johansen) had a big game for us tonight," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards.

Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson and Derek MacKenzie also scored for the Blue Jackets, who are 15-11-2 as the host this season.

Columbus enters Saturday's test with 58 points, leaving it one point out of a playoff spot in the East and one point in back of Carolina for third place in the Metropolitan Division. The top-three teams in each division automatically qualify for the postseason, with the two remaining postseason spots in each conference coming in the form of wild cards.

The Blue Jackets made the only playoff appearance in franchise history in the spring of 2009, when they were promptly swept in the first round by Detroit.

Columbus has won the last five meetings in the series with Florida, but the teams haven't met since the Blue Jackets recorded a 4-1 home win on March 30, 2012. The Panthers have lost three straight in Ohio and haven't won in this series since notching a 5-2 win at Columbus on Nov. 21, 2007.

The Panthers, who are 10 points out of a playoff spot in the East, enter Saturday having lost two straight and three of their last four contests.

Florida held a 2-0 lead in the first period of Thursday's game in Toronto, but the Maple Leafs scored five unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 triumph at Air Canada Centre. Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk scored 31 seconds apart in the first minute of the second period to hand Toronto a 3-2 lead and the Leafs never looked back.

Panthers coach Peter Horachek said the two quick goals in the second period put some of his players "back on their heels."

"From that point on I think it was pretty even for the rest of the second period but the two quick goals really put the momentum back on their side," he said.

Nick Bjugstad, Sean Bergenheim and Dmitry Kulikov scored for the Panthers. Scott Clemmensen gave up all six goals on 32 shots.

Tim Thomas expects to get the start in net for Florida tonight after he surrendered six goals on 41 shots in Tuesday's loss against Boston. The former Bruin is 0-1-1 with a 3.33 goals against average in three career games against the Blue Jackets.

Florida is 11-15-3 as the visiting team this season and is wrapping a four- game road trip tonight. The Panthers will host Toronto in their next game on Tuesday.

02/01 11:47:32 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Ron Francis named new Carolina Hurricanes GM
Canes questions? Get answers at Fan Town Hall

After a fifth season without a playoff run, the Carolina Hurricanes will start camp with a new head coach and other new faces in the front office. Fan Town Hall is YOUR chance to ask team leaders how they will turn it around.

Related Stories
  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s & Women’s Third Round

    Saturday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Football Kickoff Show

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s Third Round & Women’s Fourth Round

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: NC State vs Georgia Southern

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-FM

  • HSFB: Southern Durham at Hillside

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • High School Wrap Up Show

    Sunday at 9:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Football Friday

    Saturday at 11:35 pm

Scoreboard
Local
1st
NOR 0
DUR 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
1st
BAL 0
TAM 0
 
1st
NYM 0
ATL 0
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
CLE
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
2nd
SCAR 14
TEXAM 17
 
1st
LAMON 0
WAKE 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
BSU
8:00pm Tonight
TULSA
TULA
9:15pm Tonight
VANDY
TEMPL
10:00pm Tonight
WASU
RUTG
10:30pm Tonight
ARST
WEBER
2nd
JAC 7
ATL 14
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
DET
1st
CIN 0
IND 0
 
1st
GBP 0
KAN 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYJ
1st
MIA 0
STL 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
NYG
NEP
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
WAS
8:00pm Tonight
NOS
BAL
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
DEN
8:00pm Tonight
TEN
MIN
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SFX
10:00pm Tonight
SDC
ARI
10:00pm Tonight
OAK
SEA
1st
NOR 0
DUR 0