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Game #27 Preview: Will Panthers inflict pain for a second time this week?

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Your guess is as good as mine.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Litter Box Cats

Florida Panthers (16-5-4, 36 points, 3rd Central)

at

Columbus Blue Jackets (10-12-5, 25 points, 5th Central)

The Panthers are coming off a big win on Tuesday night in Nationwide Arena, where the argument COULD be made (though I won’t be the one making it) that the Jackets deserved to win the game, based on the number of quality chances they had on goal and the fact that Sergei Bobrovsky was playing outside of his mind in his old familiar stomping grounds.

That being said...

Player to Watch

Sergei Bobrovsky

Bob is now 9-2-2 in starts this season, which is pretty decent for someone who can’t be considered a spring chicken! He and Joonas Korpisalo both had fabulous games with several saves apiece that bent the laws of physics, but Bob certainly came out on top as far as saving what counted - and he also had an offensive unit to do the rest of his job for him.

My favorite-and-also-least-favorite two moments of Tuesday night’s game both involved Bob - one was Nick Foligno’s wide-open missed shot on net and the look on Cam’s face afterwards, and second was Cam’s 1-on-1 showdown with Bob that Bob successfully denied.

If Bob brings his A-game again tonight, the Blue Jackets might not stand a chance!

Jackets Notes

Elvis Merzlikins is starting in net! Exciting stuff. Perhaps his presence will create the change in atmosphere the Jackets need to win.

Here are some of Torts’ thoughts from Tuesday’s game:

The Other Bench

Bob is starting in net again, according to the Litter Box Cats - here is their assessment: “Florida can see how vulnerable the Blue Jackets are and will pounce on them early.”

Where’s the lie? Hope we can prove them wrong.

Season Series

01/26/2021 FLA 4 @ CBJ 3 (SO)
01/28/2021 FLA 2 @ CBJ 3 (SO)
03/09/2021 FLA 4 @ CBJ 2
03/11/2021 FLA @ CBJ
04/03/2021 CBJ @ FLA
04/04/2021 CBJ @ FLA
04/19/2021 CBJ @ FLA
04/20/2021 CBJ @ FLA

Stats

Florida Columbus
3.32 (6) GPG 2.59 (24)
2.80 (12) GAPG 3.22 (25)
26.0% (10) PP% 15.5% (26)
78.1% (17) PK% 72.7% (27)
52.1% (7) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 46.3% (31)
51.9% (6) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.5% (26)
7.9 (17) 5v5 Shot % 7.9 (18)
.929 (7) 5v5 Save % .915 (19)
Jonathan Huberdeau, Patric Hornqvist 10 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 10
Jonathan Huberdeau, 20 A Leader Seth Jones, 12
Jonathan Huberdeau, 30 P Leader Cam Atkinson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, 19
Keith Yandle, 26 PIM Leader Max Domi, 33
9-2-1 Home / Road 6-5-3
5-3-2 Last 10 3-6-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Cam Atkinson
Eric Robinson Alexandre Texier Kevin Stenlund
Max Domi Riley Nash Emil Bemstrom
Seth Jones
Gabriel Carlsson David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov Michael Del Zotto
Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo
Florida Panthers
Frank Vatrano Aleksander Barkov Carter Verhaeghe
Jonathan Huberdeau Alexander Wennberg Patric Hornqvist
Juho Lammikko Noel Acciari Ryan Lomberg
Mason Marchment Eetu Luostarinen Vinnie Hinostroza
Mackenzie Weegar Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle Radko Gudas
Riley Stillman Gustav Forsling
Sergei Bobrovsky
Chris Driedger