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Panthers hope to claim another win over Red Wings

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers will try to defeat the Detroit Red Wings for the third time in as many meetings this season, as they host an Atlantic Division battle Friday at BB&T Center.

The Panthers and Red Wings met twice in a span of a few days earlier this month and Florida won both encounters, taking a 2-1 regulation decision in Detroit on Dec. 7 before recording a 3-2 home shootout victory on Dec. 10.

Tim Thomas recorded both wins against the Red Wings and is expected to play tonight for the first time since Dec. 10. Thomas had been bothered by a groin injury recently, but was activated from injured reserve earlier this week, while goaltender Jacob Markstrom was sent back down to the AHL.

Thomas, a two-time Vezina winner during his productive stint in Boston, is 3-3-0 with a 2.51 goals against average in seven career games (six starts) against the Red Wings.

Florida enters Saturday's tilt on a two-game slide and the drought comes on the heels of a season-best five-game winning streak. After having the streak halted with a 5-2 loss at Winnipeg on Dec. 20, the Panthers were slammed by the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, dropping a 6-1 decision against their intra-state rivals.

Martin St. Louis had one goal and two assists to help lead the rout in Sunrise. Sean Bergenheim tallied the lone goal for the Panthers, while Scott Clemmensen allowed all six goals on 36 shots in the setback.

"It got worse as the game went on, obviously, and they didn't play with a lot of energy, a lot of conviction or resolve," Florida interim coach Peter Horachek said of his squad. "We kind of left (Clemmensen) there hanging quite a few times."

The lopsided loss to the Bolts was a bad way to start a five-game homestand for the Panthers, who are just 7-8-3 as the host this season.

Florida will not have defenseman Erik Gudbranson or forward Scottie Upshall for the second tilt on this residency. Gudbranson underwent surgery to repair a broken orbital bone on Monday and is expected to miss 3-to-4 weeks of action. Upshall will miss Saturday's test after suffering an upper-body injury on Monday, but he is considered day-to-day.

Detroit, meanwhile, expects to have captain Henrik Zetterberg and fellow forward Justin Abdelkader back tonight. Zetterberg has missed the last 11 games since suffering a herniated disc in his back earlier this month, but he is still leading the team with 30 points on 11 goals and 19 assists.

Abdelkader has missed the last five games with a concussion. He has three goals and 10 assists in 34 games this season.

Even with the return of Abdelkader and Zetterberg, the Red Wings are still dealing with injuries to a host of key players, including goaltender Jimmy Howard, forwards Johan Franzen and Stephan Weiss and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

The hobbled Red Wings lost for the seventh time in nine games on Monday, as they had a two-game win streak halted by the visiting New York Islanders. Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 23 shots he faced and received three first-period goals to help the Isles down Detroit by a 3-0 score at Joe Louis Arena.

Petr Mrazek came up with just 16 saves in the loss.

"We didn't really give him much help," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said of Mrazek. "What's he going to do? He came up with some big saves for us. We didn't give him a chance."

Jonas Gustavsson could get the call in net for Detroit tonight and is 2-5-0 with a 3.10 GAA in seven career games (six starts) against Florida.

12/28 10:46:32 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal «5Final(OT) | Box
Tampa Bay4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Columbus3Final | Box
Pittsburgh «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Dallas3Final | Box
Anaheim «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
Final
PHI 0
ATL 1
Final
NYY 2
CHC 0
Final
DET 2
CLE 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 6
Final
TEX 3
SEA 2
Final
CWS 4
BOS 6
Final
HOU 4
KAN 6
8:10pm Wednesday
MIN 0
TOR 0
Final
ANA 5
OAK 4
Final
SDP 4
COL 2
Final
SFG 2
LOS 1
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
TOR
 
2:05pm Today
TEX
SEA
 
3:45pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
6:40pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
Final
MIL 103
ATL 111
Final
CLE 114
BRK 85
Final
MEM 106
DAL 105
Final
OKC 112
DET 111
Final
NOP 105
HOU 100
Final
SAN 100
LAL 113
Final
MIA 87
PHI 100
Final
NYK 95
TOR 92
Final
MIN 130
UTA 136
Final
BOS 102
WAS 118
Final
DEN 112
GSW 116
Final
POR 110
LAC 104
Final
SAC 99
PHO 104
Final
TAM 4
MON 5
Final
PIT 4
CLB 3
Final
ANA 4
DAL 3
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR