National Hockey League
Preview
Florida at Detroit
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 11, 2017
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan

The Florida Panthers look to stay in striking distance for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as they begin a five-game road trip Monday against the struggling Detroit Red Wings. The Panthers had earned at least one point in five of six games, including an impressive win over Winnipeg, before falling apart in a 7-3 setback against Colorado on Saturday.

“Every three or four games, we run into this problem, not being consistent in the things that we know are going to make us successful,” Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad told reporters. “It’s something as a leader in this room and the rest of us leaders in the room have got to nip in the bud.” The Red Wings have been just as inconsistent and are suffering through their worst stretch of the season with one victory in nine games (1-5-3) after Saturday's 6-1 loss to St. Louis. Detroit had a 20-10 advantage in shots over the first two periods against the Blues but could not score while giving up four goals. “If you look at it through a clear lens, not a frustrated lens, you say, 'OK, if we replicate the first two periods again Monday, I think we will be in a great spot,'” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters. “If you stay with it, you end up getting the success you want.”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, FSN Detroit

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (11-14-4): Third-leading scorer Aleksander Barkov (27 points) missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for the opener of the road trip. Jonathan Huberdeau continues to put up points with five in his last two games to push his team-leading total to 31 - one better than Vincent Trocheck, who has notched seven in his last four contests. Ekblad is the third defenseman in franchise history to score a goal in three consecutive games, joining Jay Bouwmeester (2008-09) and Jason Garrison (2011-12).

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (11-13-5): Jimmy Howard has allowed at least four goals in four of his last five games and stopped just 6-of-10 shots on Saturday. “I am not worried about Jimmy Howard in the least,” Blashill told reporters. “He’s been at the top of his game all year, but every goalie has a night where they hit the corner with every shot and pucks go in off a skate or a stick. He’s fine.” Dylan Larkin leads the team with 23 points but has gone nine games without a goal, while Anthony Mantha (22) has not hit the scoresheet in three contests.

OVERTIME

1. Florida’s 20-year-old C Denis Malgin has scored in three consecutive games after managing one goal in his first nine contests of 2017-18.

2. Detroit D Luke Witkowski is eligible to return to the lineup Monday after serving a 10-game suspension.

3. The Red Wings won 3-2 in a shootout at Florida on Oct. 28 and have earned at least one point in five of the last seven meetings (4-2-1).

PREDICTION: Red Wings 4, Panthers 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Florida 11-14-2-2 L1 6-6-1-2 5-8-1-0 0-2-0-0 11-12-2-2 3-3-0-1
Detroit 11-13-4-1 L1 5-6-3-1 6-7-1-0 1-1-0-0 10-12-4-1 3-7-0-0
Last Meeting
Florida Detroit
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
10/28/17 DET 3 (SO) FLA 2 46 36 1-6 38 44 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Florida E. Dadonov 2
Detroit A. Athanasiou 1
Goals Player  
Florida E. Dadonov 1
Detroit A. Athanasiou 1
Assists Player  
Florida E. Dadonov 1
Detroit J. Ericsson 1
Saves Player  
Florida J. Reimer 36
Detroit J. Howard 44
Season
Total Points Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 37
Detroit D. Larkin 27
Goals Player  
Florida V. Trocheck 14
Detroit A. Mantha 14
Assists Player  
Florida J. Huberdeau 25
Detroit D. Larkin 22
Saves Player  
Florida R. Luongo 541
Detroit J. Howard 678
Quickchart Matchup
Florida Off vs  Detroit Def
2.97 GF
3.31 GA
35.3 Shots
32.1 Shots
17 PP
18 PK
Detroit Off vs  Florida Def
2.69 GF
3.52 GA
30.8 Shots
35.6 Shots
19 PP
22 PK