New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers game preview – FOXSports.com
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SUNRISE, Fla. — Dave Barr can’t be happy.
Barr is the assistant coach who came over from the Buffalo Sabres this year to fix the Florida Panthers‘ power play.
The Panthers (4-5-1) enter Thursday’s home game against the well-rested New Jersey Devils (4-2-2) at BB&T Center with a power play that is sputtering.
In a 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, the Panthers had seven man-advantage situations and still managed to get outscored 1-0 in those instances.
Yes, that’s right: Florida went 0-for-7 on the power play while also allowing one short-handed goal. And now they face a Devils team that hasn’t played since Saturday.
“We’ve got to work on our power play — that’s the bottom line,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “When you stand around and try to make cute plays like we did, it’s not going to work.”
The Panthers will face another good penalty-killing team on Thursday in the Devils, who are at 86 percent on their PK unit.
The Panthers have other issues as well.
Goalie Roberto Luongo, who has not played poorly, did give up a bad-angle shot on Tuesday and is now on a personal three-game losing streak.
In addition, the Panthers, who won the Atlantic Division last season, are without three of their top six forwards: Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad and Jussi Jokinen. The return of Huberdeau is still at least a couple months away, but Bjugstad and Jokinen could be back in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the Devils, who have missed the playoffs in each of the past four years, have been encouraged by their start. The team is largely predicated on the play of