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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, April 4th (All times Eastern)

Calgary Flames (32-38-7) at Florida Panthers (27-42-8), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Florida Panthers will begin the process of wrapping up another disappointing campaign when the sliding club starts a five-game season-ending homestand with Friday's clash against the Calgary Flames.

The Panthers have been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, meaning the franchise will miss the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons. The club is not exactly going down swinging, having lost four straight and seven of its past eight.

Had Florida still be in contention, the upcoming five-game stay at BB&T Center could have been helpful to the team's playoff cause. Instead, the Panthers can concern themselves with finishing the season strong and improving upon a 14-17-5 record on home ice.

The Panthers are coming off an 0-2 road trip, losing regulation decisions against the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders. After losing 6-3 to the Devils on Monday, Florida was handed a 4-2 setback the following night at Nassau Coliseum.

Florida briefly held a 1-0 lead over the Islanders on Tuesday after Quinton Howden scored shorthanded just 1:50 into the game. However, New York scored four unanswered goals to take control of the contest. The Isles' surge began with a power-play goal from Travis Hamonic, who lit the lamp just 45 seconds after Howden.

Brandon Pirri also scored for Florida, while Scott Clemmensen allowed all four goals on 40 shots.

Roberto Luongo expects to start Friday's game. The veteran goaltender is 4-5-1 with a 2.54 goals against average in 10 games with the Panthers since coming over from Vancouver at the trade deadline.

The Flames also have been eliminated from playoff contention, but the club was able to halt a two-game slide with Thursday's road win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Karri Ramo stopped 31 shots to help Calgary beat the Lightning, 4-1.

Mike Cammalleri and Kevin Westgarth scored 15 seconds apart in the first period for the Flames, who also had lost three of four entering Thursday's tile. Curtis Glencross scored twice late in the game.

"We all had a good game out there tonight," said Ramo. "There's not much left in this season and we all want to do our best before it ends."

The Flames, who haven't made the playoff since 2009, will cap a four-game road trip Monday in New Jersey. They are 14-20-4 as the guest this season.

Calgary recorded a 4-3 shootout win when it hosted the Panthers on Nov. 22. It was the second win for the Flames in the last five meetings of this series. The clubs have split the four meetings in South Florida.

04/04 10:54:48 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
3rd
SFG 1
KAN 4
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 30
ARZ 59
 
3rd
CLEM 6
SYR 6
 
4th
LAMON 18
TXST 7
 
4th
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
 
3rd
COLST 38
WYO 10
 
3rd
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
Half
TENN 10
ALA 27
 
3rd
AUB 28
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 17
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
3rd
TOR 0
BOS 4
 
3rd
NYI 6
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 3
DET 2
 
3rd
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
3rd
MON 3
NYR 1
 
2nd
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd Intermission
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 6
TAM 1
 
1st
ARI 0
FLA 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14