New Jersey, 2-0 against the Cats this season, are atop the Atlantic Division and playing very well. The Devils have won four straight and have won their past five games away from that monstrosity in Newark.
According to Rich Chere at the Newark Star-Ledger, both Brendan Shanahan and Paul Martin are out for the Devils. Florida is going with its same lineup.
-- Rostislav Olesz smiled Sunday when I saw him in the Florida locker room. ''I'm skating,'' he whispered as I spoke to Jay Bouwmeester.
Yes he is.
Olesz, who had sports hernia surgery a few weeks ago, was back on the ice today before practice and stayed on for a bit while the team went through the morning skate. Will have more from Rusty once I speak to him tonight. Will also get an update on his status from JM the GM.
-- Last night: The Panthers get a little help from the Islanders, who hold Pittsburgh to one point as the Isles win in a shootout. Penguins now four back of the Panthers in the playoff hunt ... Panthers got lots of love from St. Loo, the Blues beating the Rangers on Versus 2-1. Rangers have now lost eight straight away from Gotham ... The Thrashers did it again; a night after beating the Ducks down on the Pond, Atlanta goes to Hollywood and drops the Kings in a shootout thriller 7-6.
-- Tonight's Games (and the teams Florida is rooting for):
Bruins @ Canes, 7: All about the Bs. Carolina is three points back 'o the Cats.
Sabres @ Leafs, 7: Panthers are tied with Bison, so, Go Leafs Go.
Blackhawks @ Lightning, 7:30: Doesn't really matter, although the Panthers would like to see a happy Chicago team come Thursday not a surly one.
Sens @ Avs, 9:30: Senators ae playing well and might get themselves back into this thing. So, an Avs win wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
Oil @ Sharks, 10:30: Western Conference clash of no significance to the Panthers.
Today's Standings courtesy of Gary Bettman