The Panthers conclude a five-game Western Canada and Seattle swing with a stop in Winnipeg. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. EST.
Florida enters tonight’s contest in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with a 12-9-5 record (28 points). The Cats are 1-1-2 on its current road trip. Florifa is led in scoring by Carter Verhaeghe and Matthew Tkachuk with 14 and 12 goals each. The pair also lead Florida in points as Tkachuk has 34 and Verhaeghe has 22. Sam Bennett and Brandon Montour are the only other Panthers with more than 20 points as both skaters have tallied 21 points thus far. Spencer Knight has appeared to have taken over the number-one goaltender role. The 21-year-old has notched an 8-3-3 record with a 2.49 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in 14 games this season. Florida will be without Aleksander Barkov (illness) and Anton Lundell (upper body) tonight. In other injury news, Patric Hornqvist was placed on LTIR and Radko Gudas has no timetable for his return.
Winnipeg has been very surprising this season and sit second in the Central Division with a 15-7-1 record (31 points). The Jets have bene fueled by Mark Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois who have tallied 13 and 11 goals each. Both players have registered 22 points which is tied for third most on the team. Josh Morrissey leads Winnipeg in points with 26 while Kyle Connor follows close behind with 23. The Jets continue to receive world-class goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck. The 29-year-old has a 12-5-1 record with a 2.27 GAA and a .931 SV% in 18 games.
Florida took both matchups against the Jets last season outscoring Winnipeg 11-4 in those two games. Tonight’s projected starting goaltenders are Knight for Florida and Hellebuyck for the Jets.