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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
CAR 3
CLB 4
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
9th
BAL 2
BOS 3
 
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
9th
ATL 2
NYM 10
 
8th
TAM 3
CWS 10
 
7th
MIN 2
CLE 7
 
7th
KAN 4
DET 2
 
7th
HOU 4
SEA 3
 
6th
CHC 4
LOS 6
 
4th
ANA 0
TEX 0
 
2nd
OAK 3
PHI 1
 
3rd
COL 1
ARI 0
 
2nd
SDP 0
SFG 0
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
 
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
 
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
 
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
 
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
 
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
 
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
 
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
 
1st
ARI 3
SFX 7
 
1st
SEA 3
DEN 0
 
1st
MIA 0
KAN 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT