Inconsistent Panthers aim to get on track vs. Canucks

Joel Quenneville knows championship hockey, and this isn't it.

Quenneville is in his first season as coach of the Florida Panthers after guiding the Chicago Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. Quenneville, however, wasn't pleased with his new team's 5-2 loss to the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

"I think work ethic is the area that needs to improve," Quenneville said after the Panthers' squandered a 2-1 second-period lead in the loss to Arizona. "That all-out relentlessness is something that has been sporadic for us."

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Indeed, the Panthers have alternated a win with a loss for each of the past six games. They have never truly gotten on a roll this season -- a pair of three-game win streaks are their high-water marks -- and now they get ready to face the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

It will be interesting to determine the mindset of the Canucks after their 9-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

Entering that contest, both the Canucks and Lightning were on seven-game win streaks, and the score was tied at 2 in the second period before Tampa Bay erupted for seven straight goals over the final 25 minutes.

"We've got to have a short memory," Canucks center Elias Pettersson said. "We have to learn from it and not think about it too much."

Pettersson, who scored on Tuesday, leads Vancouver in goals (20) and points (45). He has three goals and three assists in his past five games.

Winger Brock Boeser leads Vancouver in assists (27) and has 40 points, second on the team in that latter category with fellow forward J.T. Miller.

Both the Canucks (fourth) and Panthers (eighth) are strong on the power play entering play on Wednesday.

However, the Canucks went 0-for-4 with the man advantage on Tuesday while the Panthers were 0-for-2.

Furthermore, the Canucks and Panthers both failed twice on their penalty kill on Tuesday.

"I have faith in our power play," Panthers forward Noel Acciari said. "We have so much skill there. Once they get hot, watch out."

Vancouver's power-play quarterback is defenseman Quinn Hughes, who has a team-high 13 assists with the man advantage. The 20-year-old is the oldest brother of New Jersey Devils star rookie Jack Hughes.

Florida's power-play quarterback is veteran Keith Yandle, who has two goals and 15 assists with the man advantage.

Thursday's goalie matchup will likely feature Florida's Sergei Bobrovsky against Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom.

Bobrovsky hasn't played since Saturday, when he allowed three goals on just seven shots in a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

The two-time Vezina Trophy recipient sports a 15-12-4 with a 3.33 goals-against average and an .895 save percentage this season.

After getting pulled against Buffalo, Bobrovsky sat out the past two games. That playing time went to rookie Chris Driedger (4-2-0, 2.16 GAA, .935 SP).

Markstrom, who was selected by the Panthers in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft, was a backup goaltender from 2010-14.

The 29-year-old has blossomed with the Canucks, with whom he has played 60 games in each of the past two seasons. Markstrom won a career-best 28 games in 2018-19.

Markstrom owns a 15-12-3 record with a 2.81 GAA and a .914 SP this season.

His backup is Thatcher Demko, who has 22 career starts. This season, Demko is 8-4-1 with a 3.07 GAA and a .903 save percentage.

--Field Level Media

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