Panthers visit the Blue Jackets after Tkachuk’s hat trick
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Florida Panthers (38-31-7, fourth in the Atlantic Division) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (23-43-8, eighth in the Metropolitan Division)
Columbus, Ohio; Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: The Florida Panthers visit the Columbus Blue Jackets after Matthew Tkachuk’s hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens in the Panthers’ 5-2 win.
Columbus has gone 14-20-2 in home games and 23-43-8 overall. The Blue Jackets have given up 292 goals while scoring 198 for a -94 scoring differential.
Florida has gone 17-19-3 in road games and 38-31-7 overall. The Panthers have a +four scoring differential, with 263 total goals scored and 259 conceded.
The matchup Saturday is the fourth time these teams meet this season. The Blue Jackets won 5-3 in the previous meeting.
TOP PERFORMERS: Johnny Gaudreau has scored 19 goals with 50 assists for the Blue Jackets. Kent Johnson has two goals and five assists over the past 10 games.
Aleksander Barkov Jr. has 20 goals and 48 assists for the Panthers. Tkachuk has 10 goals and seven assists over the past 10 games.
LAST 10 GAMES: Blue Jackets: 3-6-1, averaging 3.2 goals, 5.4 assists, 2.7 penalties and 6.5 penalty minutes while giving up five goals per game.
Panthers: 5-4-1, averaging four goals, 6.7 assists, 3.2 penalties and 6.5 penalty minutes while giving up 3.6 goals per game.
INJURIES: Blue Jackets: Mathieu Olivier: out (leg), Nick Blankenburg: out (ankle), Zach Werenski: out (shoulder/labrum), Jake Bean: out (shoulder), Justin Danforth: out (shoulder), Patrik Laine: out (triceps), Elvis Merzlikins: day to day (leg), Adam Boqvist: day to day (illness), Erik Gudbranson: out for season (shoulder).
Panthers: Patric Hornqvist: out (concussion), Sam Bennett: day to day (undisclosed), Sergei Bobrovsky: day to day (undisclosed).
The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.