Panthers game about more than just business for Blackhawks

Panthers game about more than just business for Blackhawks
October 22, 2013, 12:00 pm
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- Brian Campbell got another look at that Stanley Cup this past summer when he went to a Jonathan Toews-hosted party after the Chicago Blackhawks won it again.

“I still didn’t want to go near it when I saw it,” said Campbell, who was a part of that jubilation when he was with the 2010 Cup-winning Blackhawks. “I was happy for him and a few of the guys I played with. It’s great for them, great for the city. But the downside is you’re jealous. You want another crack at it.”

The Panthers, who have Campbell, Tomas Kopecky and Kris Versteeg from the Blackhawks’ 2010 Cup team, want another Cup day of their own. For now, they’ll have to settle for a game against the Cup champs, when they host the Blackhawks tonight at BB&T Center. Tim Thomas will start for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak with their 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.

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For the Blackhawks, it’s part reunion, part mom trip; but mostly, it’s about building off what they did last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blackhawks found some good chemistry with their lines – only difference tonight is Ben Smith is on the fourth line for Joakim Nordstrom, who was assigned to Rockford on Sunday -- and they want that to continue. They also don’t want to give the Panthers any breathing room.

“They’re a dangerous team,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “They’re coming off a big win here, they have lines that can score and you know they’ll be excited with some former teammates on the other side. That’ll bring some meaning to the game. We know we’ll have a tough game ahead of us tonight.”