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Injury-Filled Panthers Look To Bounce Back Against Surging Penguins

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SUNRISE (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Florida Panthers are going through an extremely rough patch.

The injury-ravaged Panthers look to turn things around when they host the surging Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

Florida has allowed a total of 10 goals in two losses to start a six-game homestand and likely will be without two of their top defensemen, along with No. 1 center Aleksander Barkov.

"We're missing some depth," Florida coach Gerard Gallant told reporters, "but when nobody plays well, that's what hurts your team."

While the Panthers' lead in the Atlantic Division has dwindled during a 1-3-1 stretch, Pittsburgh is on a 7-2-0 run to place itself in the middle of a crowded playoff chase in the Eastern Conference.

"It gives you accountability, when every single game counts," Penguins forward Chris Kunitz told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You have to go out and give your best effort. It's not good enough just to show up one game a week."

Pittsburgh won't feel sorry for Florida as second-leading scorer Evgeni Malkin (lower body) likely is still a few games away from returning after missing the last five.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA, ROOT (Pittsburgh), FSN Florida

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (28-19-7): Captain Sidney Crosby has cooled off after a torrid stretch in which he scored 12 goals in nine games, failing to reach the scoresheet in two straight contests.

Pittsburgh still found a way to notch a 2-1 shootout victory over Carolina on Friday after being shut out in the previous contest by the New York Rangers.

Crosby has registered a team-best 53 points and defenseman Kris Letang is third with 40 after contributing five in his last four games while playing at least 27 minutes in three of them.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (32-18-6): Jaromir Jagr, who turns 44 on Monday, shares the team lead in points (40) with Jonathan Huberdeau and remains two goals shy of Brett Hull (741) for third place on the all-time list.

The absence of Barkov (upper body) hurts as Quinton Howden (upper body) and Brandon Pirri (ankle) both were injured in Saturday's 5-0 loss to Nashville.

Defensemen Willie Mitchell (lower body) and Erik Gudbranson (undisclosed) also are expected to sit out Monday's contest.


  1. The Penguins are 4-0-1 in their last five meetings with the Panthers, including a 3-2 overtime triumph on Feb. 6.
  2. Florida LW John McFarland made his NHL debut Saturday, posting a minus-1 rating in 8:41 of ice time.
  3. Pittsburgh G Marc-Andre Fleury is 14-8-1 with a .921 save percentage in 24 career games against the Panthers.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Direct Inc. contributed to this report.)


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