Thursday, December 15, 2005

GameDay: @ Florida (10-18-4, 24 Pts) 8:00 ET

Tonight is the only time this season these teams will face each other. They last met two years ago exactly, with the Wings winning 4-1. The game included Pavel's famous goal in which he backhanded the puck into the net without even looking at it. Click here to see a video of it (.wmv, goal #3) The Wings are coming off a high-flying 7-6 special teams thriller on Tuesday in Atlanta. They were down 6-2 going into the third but stormed back, tying the game up at 6 before the Thrashers took the lead once again and put it away. The loss halted a three-game win streak the Wings had going and started their three-game road trip off on the wrong foot. After tonight's game, the Wings will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Stanley Cup Champions, the Lightning. The Wings sent Jiri Hudler back to Grand Rapids and called up forward Valterri Filppula in his place. Filppula has 11 goals and 15 assists so far this season and could debut tonight. The Panthers have struggled over the past month, winning just four of their last 22 games. They are coming off a 7-3 win over Nashville Tuesday night, a game which ended a four-game skid. Tonight's game will wrap up their season series with Western Conference teams, a series in which they are 1-3-0 so far. Chris Osgood will get the nod tonight. Given the Panther's performance on Tuesday night, I don't think they'll be a pushover tonight, in spite of their record. The Wings should be hungry enough from their loss in Atlanta to come out in force in Florida. That should mean a good game.


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