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Columbus Blue Jackets vs Florida Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers need to get more durable. They must be more durable.
The Panthers (Four-6-1) will get their likelihood on Thursday night time in opposition to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets (Eight-Four-Zero).
The toughness concern got here up after Florida was blown out Eight-5 at house by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night time.
That loss — and the way in which it occurred, with Tampa Bay skating freely all night time — irked most of the Panthers, together with star defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
“They have been a hell of quite a bit higher than us,” Ekblad stated of the Lightning. “We had numerous issues. We made errors that we speak about day in and day trip. We shouldn’t be making those self same errors.”


Ekblad statedardour” — or the shortage thereof — was a problem.
Within the third (interval), I believe we discovered it, nevertheless it was too late,” he stated. “We now have to have our defenders — all of us — with a chip on our shoulders. Each time (Tampa Bay’s) Steve Stamkos touched the puck, I need to be higher than him. Any time Nikita Kucherov touches the puck … we wanted to make his life depressing.”
On Thursday night time, you possibly can substitute the names of Stamkos and Kucherov for Columbus prime forwards.
We now have to play a hell of quite a bit more durable and make it not possible for these guys to get a sniff,” Ekblad stated within the closing moments of his rant. “On any workforce — any workforce’s finest line — we now have to ensure they don’t get a sniff.”
There’s a purpose why Ekblad is upset, and it goes past simply the Tampa Bay recreation.
Florida is permitting Three.91 targets per recreation this season, making it the second-worst protection within the league. And the Panthers have allowed 12 power-play targets in 11 video games — the worst share within the league.
However maybe Florida will catch a break on Thursday since Columbus has the worst energy play within the league, changing simply three out of 35 probabilities (Eight.6 p.c).
Florida’s offense, in the meantime, has been producing. For instance, its prime line of Aleksander Barkov, Evgenii Dadonov and Jonathan Huberdeau mixed for 10 factors in opposition to Tampa Bay on Monday.
However secondary scoring from the remaining strains is a query, and the Panthers could have a troublesome problem in beating Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who's 7-2-Zero and ranks fifth within the league with a 1.97 goals-against common.
Bobrovsky stopped each shootout makes an attempt he confronted in Monday’s Four-Three win over the Boston Bruins. Columbus improved to Four-Zero this season in video games determined after regulation.
“We needed two factors, not one, and we discovered a solution to get the 2,” Blue Jackets proper winger Oliver Bjorkstrand advised The Columbus Dispatch.
Columbus was with out ahead Cam Atkinson (lower-body damage) on Monday, and he's questionable for the Panthers recreation. Columbus defenseman Gabriel Carlsson hasn’t performed since Oct.13, however he's believed to be close to a return. On Tuesday, he practiced for the primary time since his damage.
Florida has 4 injured gamers, together with beginning goalie Roberto Luongo, who performed simply 4 video games earlier than being sidelined on account of a proper thumb damage. He hasn’t performed since Oct. 20 and can miss at the very least yet another week.
The Panthers are additionally lacking three forwards: Connor Brickley, Jared McCann and Colton Sceviour. However even with out them, the Panthers are sixth within the league in scoring at Three.64 targets per recreation.
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