Afternoon Matinee edition! The Panthers visit the beautiful shores of Jersey to take on the New Jersey Devils this afternoon. Florida is in the midst of a 5 game road trip, which they have started 1-1-0. After an important, come from behind win against the Rangers on Thursday, Florida will look to win consecutive games for the first time since February 12-13th. It would be a great win over the Devils, who welcomed back Martin Brodeur in their last game, an easy win over Colorado. Brodeur will be tending the net for the Devils this afternoon.
Florida's offense has been in a bit of a funk lately. In the Panthers' last 7 games, they have scored more then 2 goals just once. Thanks to outstanding goaltending, Florida has still managed to go 4-3-0 in those 7 games. They'll need to find some offense over the weekend if they hope to keep pace in the playoff race.
An interesting development over the last couple days; Nick Boynton has been sent home due to "disciplanary actions." No further words on what actually happened, but it leads to speculation that Boynton may be on the trade block. Noah Welch will be asked to step up for the next 3 games. He's played well enough in the few chances he's gotten, so there isn't too much fear of a dropoff here.
Tomas Vokoun is still suffering from his illness\infection, so Craig Anderson may get his 3rd straight start today. Puck drops at 1:00 from the Rock.
12:07 UPDATE; Further info on the Nick Boynton situation... Apparently Boynton was benched during the final period of the Rangers game and not given enough information as to why. Boynton was understandably upset and may have overreacted, getting into a heated discussion with Pete DeBoer. DeBoer and Jacques Martin agreed that his actions warrented punishment, and he was sent home. Boynton is in the final year of his contract, which has led to thoughts of a possible trade upcoming, but with the Panthers already possibly losing one top D-man (J-Bo), I find it hard to believe they'd be willing to trade away 2 of their top 6 blueliners. But then again, who really knows...