The Florida Panthers stay on the road after getting by the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. Roberto Luongo stole the show and outdueled Brian Elliott for the win. Elliott played well, but Luongo had the upper hand in that particular game. One of the Florida goals was an unlucky bounce from a bad angle, with Elliott knocking it into his own net as the shot handcuffed him a bit. If he uses his glove to catch it, there wouldn’t have been a redirection.
With that said, the Flyers have to be feeling confident in what they’ve seen from Elliott. He hasn’t looked the same since leaving St. Louis, as his time in Calgary didn’t give his employers a solid ROI on him. The Flames thought he was going to be the final piece of the puzzle. Yeah, so much for that. With a nice hot run by Elliott, we’ll see if this is just a blip or something more serious.
For the Panthers, that was the first of a long road trip for them. They’re going to be on the road for another five games before returning home next Saturday to play the Chicago Blackhawks. Following their Columbus stop, they will head to face the Rangers on Saturday. With Luongo back, the Panthers have looked like a brand-new team.
He’s helped cool down the seat of Bob Boughner, who couldn’t have been feeling too comfortable with the Panthers start. With how his 39-year-old goaltender is playing, he’s feeling much better. Florida have won five straight games and are 6-2 in their last eight outings. The Panthers are suddenly looking good with a record of 7-5-1. Conversely, the Blue Jackets enter Thursday with a mark of 10-6-1. Head below for our free Panthers vs. Blue Jackets pick.
Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
Luongo looks like he’s in his mid-20’s rather than nearly 40 years old between the pipes. With all of the talk of what Tom Brady is doing in the NFL, Luongo is defying father time as well. Perhaps Dominik Hasek is the most recent goaltender who played out of his mind at this age. In fact, Luongo joined Hasek in a group of 39-year olds who have started the season at 4-0-0.
Hasek ended up going on to lead the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup that year, but don’t expect that to happen with Luongo. That Red Wings team had talent all over the place, the Panthers on the other hand have holes to fill. In any event, the Panthers have been getting production from throughout their lineup, offensively and defensively. During their five-game winning streak, Florida have averaged 3.8 goals per game while allowing only 1.4 goals per game.
The Blue Jackets are winners in three of their last four games, with only 1 goal allowed in each win. In four of their last seven games, the Jackets have given up only 1 goal. Sergei Bobrovsky, who didn’t get off to the best of starts this season, has allowed only 1 goal in his three previous outings.
In five of his last six, Bobrovsky has given up just 1 goal. Columbus has been a house of horrors for the Panthers. They are 1-10 in their last 11 trips here to Ohio. The Blue Jackets have won five in a row, with an average score differential of 2.4 goals. This looks like a perfect letdown spot for the Panthers to have their five-game winning streak snapped.