Preview: Florida at Vancouver
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, January 11, 2016
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Florida Panthers have become one of the surprise stories of the 2015-16 season, and they hope to write another chapter as they attempt to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 13 games when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. Florida has climbed to the top of the Atlantic Division thanks to its run, which reached 12 contests with Sunday’s 2-1 triumph at Edmonton — the team’s third win in as many contests during its six-game road trip.
Jaromir Jagr has registered six goals and 10 points on the winning streak to raise his team-leading totals to 15 and 31. Vancouver looks to conclude its seven-game homestand on a winning note after going 3-2-1 over the first six contests — five of which were one-goal decisions, with two being decided in overtime and one in a shootout. Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 17 goals but has scored just one in his last six games. Florida hopes to sweep the two-game season series after posting a 5-4 shootout victory over Vancouver on Dec. 20 in which Jagr recorded a goal and an assist before Aleksander Barkov netted the decisive tally in the bonus format.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (26-12-4): Roberto Luongo will be back in net Monday after receiving the night off against the Oilers. The 36-year-old is riding a personal nine-game winning streak during which he has allowed fewer than three goals eight times. Jonathan Huberdeau has remained hot, recording five points during his last three games and five multipoint performances in nine contests.
ABOUT THE CANUCKS (16-16-10): Sedin, who already is the franchise leader in both power-play tallies (120) and game-winners (76), needs three goals to pass Markus Naslund (346) for the top spot in that category. Chris Higgins’ time in Vancouver could be nearing an end as the team announced it is seeking a deal. “I can confirm we’re exploring trade options for Chris Higgins so we can create more roster space for our younger players to develop,” general manager Jim Benning told the team’s website. “Chris is a quality person who has been an important member of our team for nearly five seasons. Our focus has been on finding a positive new situation for him, and we will continue to do so.”
1. The Panthers, who haven’t lost since Dec. 12 at Boston, have won a franchise-high six straight road contests.
2. Higgins has recorded only two goals and one assist in 25 games this season.
3. Barkov is riding a four-game point streak and has collected nine during his last seven contests.
PREDICTION: Panthers 3, Canucks 1