Struggling Panthers face the hot Stars: December 31, 2016

Florida Panthers (15-14-8; 3 OTL; 6th in Atlantic)

Dallas Stars (16-14-7; 3 W; 4th in Central)

Location: American Airlines Center- Dallas, Texas (Away)

Date/Time: December 31, 2016 at 8:00pm


Reilly Smith returns for the Panthers tonight. However, the cruel wheel of Injuries did charge a price and that is the loss of Colton Sceviour who is out with an upper-body injury. Smith who suffered a concussion was destroyed by Nikolas Kronwall last week in a borderline Kronwall classic big hit. Smith had been starting to get hot when he was taken out after he struggled early in the year. Smith will face the team who drafted him tonight in Dallas. Sceviour will be out aganist Dallas the team he was with before he signed with Florida. Smith was dealt to Boston in the Tyler Seguin deal. Jason Demers is also returning to Dallas. The Panthers while having to face offensive powerhouses in Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin as well as great secondary players Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp who is returning from injury. However, Florida’s offense should pile up on goals as the struggling tandem of Kari Lethonen and Antti Niemi rotate in Dallas. Roberto Luongo gets extra rest as James Reimer finishes the calendar year. Dallas has won 3 games in a row and Florida has lost 3 in the extra frame(s) in a row.


Seth Griffith-Vincent Trocheck-Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen-Nick Bjugstad-Reilly Smith

Jonathan Marchessault-Michael Sgarbossa-Denis Malgin

Greg McKegg-Derek MacKenzie-Shawn Thornton

Keith Yandle-Aaron Ekblad

Jakub Kindl-Jason Demers

Mike Matheson-Mark Pysyk

James Reimer

Roberto Luongo

Scratched: Paul Thompson (Healthy), Dylan McIllrath (Healthy), Colton Sceviour (Upper-Body), Aleksander Barkov (Undisclosed), Alex Petrovic (Ankle), Jonathan Huberdeau (Severed Achilles Tendon)


FLA: James Reimer (14 GP, 4-5-3, 2.73 GAA, .909 SVPCT)