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CBS4's Steve Goldstein: Panthers in a critical time of the season

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CBS News Miami Live

SUNRISE - After consecutive losses over the weekend, the Florida Panthers face an important December week. Sure, there is more than half of the season left after the calendar turns to 2023 but chasing multiple teams for a playoff spot is not an enviable position in the NHL.

The Panthers were feeling good after winning 3 of 4 but then the weekend came.

Injuries & Illness
It's been a strange first two months of the season. From Aaron Ekblad's injury in the third game to Aleksander Barkov getting sick for weeks, the Panthers haven't been able to get their full team in gear. The latest illness victims are the 21-year-olds, Anton Lundell and Spencer Knight.

Find The Energy
The Panthers at times have not matched the opponent's speed and energy. That was the case against Seattle on Sunday as the Kraken were on the puck all game long. It was the third game in four days for the Panthers and they are playing with three call-ups but that happens to every team at some point during the season.

Home Sweet Home
For the last couple of years, the Panthers were unbeatable at home in regulation. They have two games this week to re-establish that home ice advantage. There have been some tough, surprising home losses this season.

Get Stops
Sergei Bobrovsky is back in goal with Spencer Knight out with an illness. At times he has made spectacular saves to keep the team in games. Overall though, the Panthers are giving up too many goals to win, particularly in the third period over the weekend.

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