Mar 24, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom (35) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the third period of an NHL game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Preview: Florida Panthers At Toronto Maple Leafs

Florida Panthers: 9-18-6 (24 pts) at Toronto Maple Leafs: 17-12-4 (38 pts)

The Florida Panthers have a chance to end their five game road stretch on a positive note tonight when they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs. The Panthers have gone 2-2-o on their trip and have a chance to return home with a winning road trip in hand, a huge positive for a team that has struggled as much as the Panthers have.

Florida began their trip with back to back impressive wins over the Hurricanes and the Rangers. They followed the two victories with two defeats at the hands of the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders. During the two losses, the Panthers only managed to score one goal and they were shutout for the fifth time this season on Sunday against the New York Islanders. One of those shutouts was at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-0 Panthers’ loss back in February, the teams only meeting this season prior to tonight’s game.

The Maple Leafs currently occupy the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and are riding a five game point streak during which the team has a 2-0-3 record. The three losses have all come in shootouts an area in which the Leafs have struggled this year going 0-4 in the battle for the extra point.

Tonight is the second of the three game series between the Panthers and Leafs this season, and the only game in Toronto. The Panthers had better get used to the trip to Canada as they will be making it often next season. The NHL’s realignment plan has the Panthers in a division with three Canadian teams, the Maple Leafs, Senators and Canadiens. Tonight will be a sneak peek into what will hopefully develop into an exciting rivalry.


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