[7:30 PM] Devils @ Panthers

Who will WIN this matchup?

New Jersey Devils

@ Florida Panthers


Starting Goalies:

Cory Schneider(NJ): Confirmed

Roberto Luongo(FLA): Confirmed


Current odds:

New Jersey Devils: (+130)

Florida Panthers: (-150)


The Florida Panthers begin defense of their Atlantic Division title without two key forwards Thursday when they host the New Jersey Devils in the season opener for both teams. Top-line left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles) is out 3-to-4 months and center Nick Bjugstad (broken hand) is lost for about four weeks as the Panthers lean more on a revamped defense in front of veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Hall averaged 22 goals in six seasons with Edmonton before being dealt to New Jersey for defenseman Adam Larsson in the offseason. Veteran Patrik Elias won’t be back and Lee Stempniak has moved on to Carolina, but the Devils return leading scorer Kyle Palmieri (57 points) and Mike Cammalleri, who had 14 goals to go along with 24 assists in 42 games last season before going down with a hand injury. New Jersey added defenseman Ben Lovejoy from Pittsburgh through free agency along with forward Vernon Fiddler to add experience.

Florida moved out defensemen Erik Gudbranson, Willie Mitchell, Dmitry Kulikov and Brian Campbell while welcoming blue liners Keith Yandle, Jason Demers and Mark Pysyk in the offseason. Former first-overall pick Aaron Ekblad was extended for eight years as well and rookie Mike Matheson joins him in the top six. Not much was needed up front before the injuries as Jagr topped the team with 27 goals and 66 points while Jussi Jokinen, Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and Reilly Smith — along with Huberdeau — all reached the 50-point plateau.

New Jersey C Pavel Zacha, a 19-year-old who was picked sixth overall in 2015, had two assists in his NHL debut last season and is expected in the lineup Thursday.

Luongo has 436 career victories and needs one to tie Jacques Plante for sixth on the all-time list while Jagr is one goal shy of 750.

The Devils claimed F P.A. Parenteau off waivers from the New York Islanders on Tuesday and added him to the roster.


StreakSmarts Pick: Florida Panthers

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick