Sports

Preview: Panthers close out Northeast trip with matinee game against Devils

TV: FOX Sports Florida

TIME: Noon

STREAM IT LIVE ON THE FOX SPORTS APP

On Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center, the Florida Panthers conclude a weeklong residency in the Metro New York area with an off-Broadway matinee against the New Jersey Devils.

The Panthers (2-3-3) arrived in New York on Monday, dropped a 5-2 decision to the Rangers on Tuesday, rallied for a 3-2 overtime victory over the Islanders on Wednesday and followed a day off Thursday filled with appearances at the NHL store and on NHL Network by several star players with a spirited practice on Friday.

Next is a noon start against the Devils (4-2-1) on Saturday.

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“Winning how we did (against the Islanders), tying the game in the third period and winning in overtime, gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said after Fridays practice. “We just need to bring the same energy we had last game to New Jersey.”

Despite playing on consecutive nights, the Panthers erased a two-goal deficit in the final period against the Islanders. Mike Hoffman capped the comeback with his fourth goal of the season for the overtime win.

Barkov assisted on the game-winner and had two assists. He now has six points in the last five games.

Teammate Evgenii Dadonov, who scored his fourth goal on Wednesday, carries a five-game point-scoring streak into Saturdays matchup with New Jersey.

“In hockey, youre always looking for a spark, and I think were feeling inspired by that third-period comeback in Brooklyn,” Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad told the teams website.

While the Panthers seek their first consecutive wins of the season, as well as their first in regulation, the Devils hunt their first victory since Oct. 16.

New Jersey started the season with four consecutive victories but remains winless since then with two regulation losses and, most recently, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Nico Hischier scored twice in the loss, Taylor Hall extended his point-scoring streak to six games and Kyle Palmieri notched his team-high 11th point. Yet the Devils let a one-goal slip away late in the third period Thursday before Nashvilles Kyle Turris scored the deciding goal in overtime.

“I think we did a pretty good job of playing back to a type of game we need to play,” Devils captain Andy Greene said of the teams effort on Thursday.

Already missing injured forwards Jesper Bratt and Drew Stafford, goalie Cory Schneider and defensemen Steven Santini and Ben Lovejoy, the Devils practiced without center Marcus Johansson on Friday. He was absent because of an illness and is questionable to play against the Panthers.

In addition, the Devils sent forward John Quenneville back to the minors on Friday and recalled rookie winger Joey Anderson from AHL Binghamton. Anderson had two goals and five points in eight minor league games this season.

“There are some guys on our team right now who sometimes when they have the chance to shoot the puck from quality areas, they are bypassing the shots,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “For us, it has to be more pucks to the net, getting into the areas where youre going to score goals. We need that from more of our forwards in the lineup.”

After Saturdays game, the Devils hit the road to play seven consecutive games away from the Prudential Center. So far, they played only once on the road, a 5-2 loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia last Saturday.

The Panthers will leave New Jersey and head to Finland next week as part of the NHL Global Series. They will play two games against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 1-2.

“I cant believe its really going to happen,” said Barkov, a Finnish native. “Im going back to Finland in a couple days. I cant wait to see the atmosphere.”

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