National Hockey League
Preview
Dallas at Florida
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 5, 2015
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida


The Florida Panthers' drive for a postseason berth hit a major speed bump when their top two goaltenders were injured in a loss to Toronto on Tuesday. With starter Roberto Luongo and backup Al Montoya both ailing and listed as day-to-day, the Panthers summoned a pair of netminders from the minors Wednesday. Dan Ellis, who was recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League, will get the start against a former team when Florida hosts the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

The Stars kept their flickering hopes alive with a dramatic victory over the New York Islanders, prevailing in overtime after giving up the tying goal with 1.7 seconds left in regulation. The victory ended a six-game losing streak for Dallas, which is nine points out of the second wild card in the Western Conference and now faces a stretch of five consecutive games away from home. The Panthers, meanwhile, are two points out of eighth place in the East.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN Florida (Miami)

ABOUT THE STARS (28-26-10): After blowing three third-period leads during its five-game skid, Dallas appeared ripe for another crushing defeat until Cody Eakin came to the rescue with an overtime goal to halt a four-game home losing streak. Still, it was a costly victory for the Stars, who are expected to be without defenseman Trevor Daley for at least two weeks after he absorbed a knee-on-knee hit from New York's Matt Martin, who received a five-minute major and game misconduct. Daley is having a breakout season with 16 goals and 33 points - both career highs.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (28-23-13): Ellis was acquired from Dallas exactly one year ago in exchange for fellow netminder Tim Thomas, but he had a forgettable stint with Florida, losing all five starts while permitting at least five goals in four of them. Ellis was decent with San Antonio, posting a 22-11-3 mark with a pair of shutouts and 2.70 goals-against average. "Things didn't go great for him a couple years ago, but he's an NHL goalie," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "He's played a lot of games in the league, and he's won games. We're confident in Dan."

OVERTIME

1. Stars G Kari Lehtonen is 14-8-4 with four shutouts and a 2.46 goals-against average versus the Panthers.

2. Florida also called up G Sam Brittain from Cincinnati of the ECHL.

3. The Stars blanked the Panthers 2-0 on Feb. 13 to end a three-game losing streak in the series.

PREDICTION: Stars 4, Panthers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Dallas 28-26-7-3 W1 13-13-5-3 15-13-2-0 3-2-0-0 25-24-7-3 5-12-4-3
Florida 28-23-4-9 L1 14-10-0-6 14-13-4-3 5-2-0-2 23-21-4-7 11-4-3-1
Last Meeting
Dallas Florida
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/13/15 FLA 0 DAL 2 28 37 0-3 37 26 0-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Dallas J. Benn 1
Florida A. Barkov 0
Goals Player  
Dallas J. Benn 1
Florida A. Barkov 0
Assists Player  
Dallas E. Cole 1
Florida A. Barkov 0
Saves Player  
Dallas K. Lehtonen 37
Florida A. Montoya 26
Season
Total Points Player  
Dallas T. Seguin 66
Florida N. Bjugstad 38
Goals Player  
Dallas T. Seguin 32
Florida N. Bjugstad 22
Assists Player  
Dallas J. Spezza 40
Florida J. Huberdeau 29
Saves Player  
Dallas K. Lehtonen 1439
Florida R. Luongo 1446
Quickchart Matchup
Dallas Off vs  Florida Def
3.08 GF
2.69 GA
31.2 Shots
30 Shots
40 PP
41 PK
Florida Off vs  Dallas Def
2.34 GF
3.27 GA
31.2 Shots
30.9 Shots
31 PP
41 PK