|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET21:00 BRT, February 22, 2021
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida Attendance: 3,510
Struggling Stars return to ice against Panthers
Dallas Stars at Florida Panthers
- The Stars and Panthers will meet for the first time since a 7-4 Panthers victory in Florida on December 20, 2019, just the second Panthers victory since the in the last six meetings. Dallas had taken points in five straight trips to Florida prior to that loss.
- Dallas has not played since February 13 after its games against the Predators and Lightning were postponed due to the cold weather in Texas last week. The Stars head to Florida riding a five-game losing streak and look to avoid dropping six straight for the first time since February 27-March 10 last season.
- Joe Pavelski leads the Stars with nine goals this season, including seven power-play scores -- tied with Auston Matthews for most in the NHL. Pavelski has scored or assisted on 17 of the Stars' 40 goals this season -- that 42.5 percent is the fifth-highest share in the NHL.
- Florida split a two-game set in Detroit last weekend, taking a 7-2 victory on Friday but falling 2-1 on Saturday. The Panthers have a .750 points percentage this season, an improvement of .185 over last season (35-26-8, .565); that's the third-largest improvement in the league behind the Maple Leafs (+.210) and Hurricanes (+.186).
- Alex Wennberg scored Florida's lone goal in Saturday's loss, his fifth of the season -- matching last season's total set in 57 games with Columbus. Wennberg has recorded a point in his last three games and has seven points (5g, 2a) in his last eight after recording just two points (2a) in his first eight this season.
- Patric Hornqvist scored two goals in Friday's 7-2 victory over the Red Wings and leads the Panthers with eight goals this season -- third most among skaters on a new team this season behind Montreal's Tyler Toffoli (11) and Josh Anderson (nine). Hornqvist has 24 points (10g, 14a) in 31 career games against Dallas, including 10 points (4g, 6a) in seven games since the start of the 2016-17 season.
- Marleau ties Howe's games played record
- Rangers' Buchnevich scores 3 on birthday
- Panthers beat Tampa, now 2nd in Central
- Ovechkin scores 2, Capitals beat Flyers
- Pens edge Sabres, move into 2nd in East
The Dallas Stars, who have not won a game since Feb. 2, are set to visit the Florida Panthers on Monday night in Sunrise, Fla.
Dallas has had eight games postponed this season. The first four games of the season were postponed due to a COVID-19 protocol issue on the Stars, and that included two scheduled contests against Florida.
More recently, the Stars had four straight games postponed due to the worst winter storm in Texas in decades, an event that caused power outages throughout the state.
Due to all those postponements, the Stars will need to play a heavy schedule to try to catch up, and that includes five road games in the next eight days.
Dallas has lost five straight games, although three of those contests were decided after regulation. The Stars, though, just want to play, something they haven't done since Feb. 13.
"It will be nine days between games," Stars coach Rick Bowness said of what the gap will be by Monday night. "This (break) has been like our third training camp in a month.
"The guys are frustrated. Practice time is important, but so is mental health. (Friday's practice) was a fun day and a mental-health day."
It hasn't been much fun lately for Stars goalie Anton Khudobin, who is 0-3-1 with a 4.25 goals-against average in his past four starts.
But Khudobin has kept things in perspective as he has hosted, in his house, several teammates who have suffered through power outages.
"I have 11 people at my house," Khudobin said. "We're like a family on this team. We hold each other really tight."
Bowness said he will need both Khudobin (3-3-1, 2.75 GAA this season) and rookie backup Jake Oettinger (2-0-3, 2.31 GAA) during this stretch of five games in eight days.
The Panthers, who are coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss to the lowly Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, are nevertheless off to a great start overall.
Florida had won three straight games prior to that loss.
Among individual players, Alex Wennberg has been particularly hot for the Panthers, scoring five goals over his past eight games. Last season, Wennberg scored five goals all season, getting those tallies in 57 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"My game is getting better and better," Wennberg told FOX Sports Florida. "Scoring goals is nice, but I try to play all over the ice -- offensively and defensively."
The Panthers, who took six of eight points in their just-concluded road trip, have been resilient all season. That is evidenced by their 4-0-0 record after a loss.
Jonathan Huberdeau leads Florida in assists (15) and points (22). Patric Hornqvist leads the team in goals (eight).
Two Panthers goalies split starts: Chris Driedger (6-1-1, 2.34 GAA) and Sergei Bobrovsky (5-2-1, 3.18 GAA).
They will try to shut down a Stars offense led by Joe Pavelski (team-high nine goals, team-high 17 points) and John Klingberg (team-high 10 assists).
But the Stars have some key players out due to injuries, including goalie Ben Bishop (knee), defenseman Stephen Johns (concussion) and forwards Alexander Radulov (lower body), Tyler Seguin (hip) and Roope Hintz (lower body).
--Field Level Media
Updated February 21, 2021