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National Hockey League
Preview
Columbus at Florida
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 12, 2014
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

The Columbus Blue Jackets try to set a franchise record for points and head into the playoffs on a high note when they visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The Blue Jackets are one point shy of their total of 92 in 2008-09 – the only other time they made the postseason – and are even in points with Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Florida, which has won two of three, attempts to avoid finishing with fewer than 30 wins in a full season for the first time since 2003-04.

Columbus looks to extend its winning streak over the Panthers to eight games and has outscored them 10-4 in two victories this season. Sergei Bobrovsky, who has won four of his last five starts, is expected back in net for the Blue Jackets after resting in the 3-2 loss Friday at Tampa Bay. Roberto Luongo is 6-6-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .934 save percentage since returning to Florida at the trade deadline.

TV: 7 p.m. ET; FSN Ohio (Columbus)

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (42-32-7): Columbus registered 38 shots and received a goal and an assist from rookie Boone Jenner, but could not rebound from yielding three second-period tallies on Friday. Leading scorer Ryan Johansen extended his point streak to five games with an assist and boasts 16 shots on goal over the last three contests. Nathan Horton underwent abdominal surgery Friday and is sidelined at least six weeks while R.J. Umberger (upper-body) is likely out the first round of the playoffs.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (29-44-8): Center Nick Bjugstad has a chance to become the first rookie in franchise history to lead the team in scoring in a single season, going into the last game with 38 points – one better than Scottie Upshall. “It would be pretty cool,” Bjugstad told the Miami Herald. “But you have to play it out. We have one more game and see what we can do.” Brad Boyes and defenseman Brian Campbell are also close behind with 36 points and blue-liner Dmity Kulikov is one point away from 100 in his career.

OVERTIME

1. Florida C Brandon Pirri has made a strong impression since being acquired from Chicago with seven goals (five on the power play) and 13 points in 20 games.

2. Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray has a goal and a plus-1 rating in five games since missing about a month due to knee surgery.

3. The last Panthers win over Columbus was on Nov. 21, 2007, and the teams have not met in Florida since Jan. 19, 2011.

PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 3, Panthers 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Columbus 42-32-5-2 L1 22-15-2-2 20-17-3-0 2-2-0-0 40-30-5-2 16-13-1-0
Florida 29-44-2-6 W1 16-19-1-4 13-25-1-2 4-6-0-3 25-38-2-3 ---
Last Meeting
Columbus Florida
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/1/14 FLA 3 CLB 6 37 17 3-4 20 31 0-4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Columbus J. Johnson 3
Florida N. Bjugstad 2
Goals Player  
Columbus A. Anisimov 1
Florida S. Bergenheim 1
Assists Player  
Columbus J. Johnson 3
Florida N. Bjugstad 1
Saves Player  
Columbus S. Bobrovsky 17
Florida S. Clemmensen 31
Season
Total Points Player  
Columbus R. Johansen 64
Florida S. Upshall 40
Goals Player  
Columbus R. Johansen 34
Florida B. Boyes 23
Assists Player  
Columbus J. Wisniewski 44
Florida B. Campbell 32
Saves Player  
Columbus S. Bobrovsky 1633
Florida S. Clemmensen 407
Quickchart Matchup
Columbus Off vs  Florida Def
2.75 GF
3.2 GA
29.5 Shots
31 Shots
52 PP
61 PK
Florida Off vs  Columbus Def
2.3 GF
2.62 GA
29.8 Shots
30.7 Shots
27 PP
50 PK