On the eve on the NHL trade deadline, the Florida Panthers travel to Tampa Bay to face their in state rival lightning. This could be the last game for this version of the Panthers as it is a pretty safe bet that we will see some new faces coming in at the trade deadline. This means it could be the last game in a Panther uniform for a number of players who could potentially be moved at the deadline.
Trade talk aside, the Florida Panthers have been playing much better of late. Despite remaining in last place in the Eastern Conference, the Panthers have won four of their last seven games which is impressive when you consider that the Panthers have only won eleven games all season.
In their last game, the Panthers exacted revenge on the New Jersey Devils in thrilling fashion. The Devils, who were making their first appearance in South Florida since knocking the Panthers out of the playoffs there last year, saw their 2-1 lead disappear in the final second of the third period when a red hot Shawn Matthias put in his second goal of the game sending the game into overtime. Dmitry Kulikov sealed the Panthers first overtime victory of the season when he beat Martin Brodeur with help from a brilliant feed by Brian Campbell.
Tonight against the Lightning, the Panthers will have a chance for their first three game winning streak of the season. In order to do so they will have to defeat a Lightning team that they have not beaten in three tries so far this season going 0-2-1. The Lightning are coming off two wins of their own and currently occupy the 14th spot in the Eastern Conference only three points ahead of the Panthers. The Lighting are lead by their superstar Steven Stamkos whose 25 goals lead the NHL.
Enjoy the game tonight.