Florida Panthers (17-11-9) at Vancouver Canucks (23-12-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 8, 2015, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -156 / Florida Panthers +141 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Panthers look to pull off the upset in Vancouver on Thursday night as Roberto Luongo makes his return to Rogers Arena to play his former team.
The Florida Panthers have quietly pieced together a pretty decent season and have some nice victories on their resume but none would mean more to so many people in this organization than getting two points in Vancouver tonight. Roberto Luongo has been spectacular since making his return to Sunrise and is the main reason why his team is in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference and with the second fewest games played in the league this season there is plenty of space for the Florida to move with. The Cats landed the top overall selection a year ago and much like the Avs did the season prior they have responded nicely and are in the thick of a playoff push and like Nathan Mackinnon did for Colorado the selection of Aaron Ekblad is paying huge dividends for Florida. Luongo is slated to get the start and he will go up against Ryan Miller in what should be a great contest.
The Canucks have won back to back games and are in the midst of a huge turnaround after a disastrous season last year and if things continue the way they are we can expect to see Vancouver back in the playoffs. This Vancouver group has undergone some changes from the teams of year's past and while the core remains the same it just seems like this team is a lot more balanced and relying heavily on a complete team game as opposed to riding the offensive abilities of their top line. Ryan Miller has been a huge asset for the Canucks this season and he has a chance to silence the Florida Panthers and former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo and while the two never played together there is going to be some connection as Miller was officially the replacement of Luongo though there were some others in between. This is shaping up to be a great game and while it isn't always the best idea to consider emotion here but I think Luongo will continue his success and grab a massive win for he and his team in this one at a ridiculous price.