Panthers vs Devils: Looking to avoid a losing streak

In last night’s contest against the New York Rangers, the Florida Panthers were handed their first regulation loss of the 2020-21 season. Considering the fact that it took 12 games for this to happen, the Panthers can hold their heads high. Furthermore, they were very close to coming back from a 4-0 deficit, as they scored three third period goals.

However, now is not the time to dwell on that – the Panthers have another game tonight and will be taking on the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils aren’t a team for the Panthers to take lightly, either. Although they do not have a superb 10-1-1 record like them, the Devils are off to a pretty decent 5-3-2 start. However, due to the strength of the Metropolitan Division, they are currently tied for sixth place and are only one point ahead of the last place Pittsburgh Penguins. Thus, they will be coming out hot against Florida.

Tonight’s contest will be the first of three against the Devils this season. This year’s New Jersey squad is a lot different than the last time they met during the 2019-20 season. After a summer of spending, the Devils now have notable players like Dougie Hamilton, Tomas Tatar and Ryan Graves on their roster. However, it is important to note that young star Jack Hughes is currently sidelined with a dislocated left shoulder. Furthermore, Hamilton is a game-time decision.

Alas, we will have to wait and see how the Panthers react from their rare loss.

A few fun predictions for the Panthers:

  • Don’t be surprised to see goaltender Christopher Gibson make his debut for the Panthers tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky is currently out and Spencer Knight just had a tough game where he let in four goals on just 18 shots. With that performance happening just a night ago, it may be best to give Knight some time to regroup. In two NHL contests last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Gibson had a 1-1-0 record and .875 SV%. However, if they elect to go with Knight, a bounce back is surely in order.
  • Patric Hornqvist has been on a tear offensively as of late. Over his last three games, he has a goal and three assists. Keep in mind, this was after having only two assists in his first nine contests on the new campaign. I think he will continue his hot streak and get on the scoresheet yet again.
  • The Panthers already have five players who have at least 10 points this season. Tonight, let’s see if that changes to seven. Carter Verhaeghe and Gustav Forsling each have nine points on the year. They’ve been red hot, so it doesn’t feel right to bet against them.

Where to watch: ESPN +