Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils

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The Florida Panthers have made a big splash prior to Monday’s trade deadline, acquiring 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr from New Jersey in exchange for in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2016.

Jagr has scored 11 goals and 29 points in 57 games for the Devils this season, but recently complained about his lack of ice time and the club’s narrowing (virtually closed) window for making the playoffs. While there’s no guarantee he’ll get there with Florida, the Panthers do have a better shot — heading into tonight’s action they’re just two points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Florida will mark Jagr’s eighth NHL stop, having previously spent time in Pittsburgh, Washington, New York (Rangers), Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and New Jersey. It’s also worth pointing out that his last foray into the playoffs came during the Bruins’ run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final — and now, Jagr’s playing for a Florida team that’s chasing the B’s in the standings.

The Panthers clearly made this move with veteran playoff experience in mind. In their release, they note that Jagr is now the sixth Stanley Cup-winner on the active roster, joining Dave Bolland, Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, Willie Mitchell and Shawn Thornton.

Much will also be made of Jagr’s age, given how many youngsters Florida has in the fold. To put things in perspective, Calder Trophy candidate Aaron Ekblad, 18, was born in 1996 — the same year Jagr scored a career-high 67 goals and 149 points.

Some trade details, per ESPN:

A healthy scratch in Florida, Bergenheim to debut on Wild’s top line

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Acquired Tuesday in from Florida, Sean Bergenheim will make his Wild debut tonight in Nashville (on NBCSN).

And after his role with the Panthers was diminished to the point where he requested a trade, the veteran forward will make that debut on Minnesota’s top line, skating with center Mikko Koivu and right winger Thomas Vanek.

“We think that where he’s at with Mikko, the way that Mikko has been playing, that line has an ability to create,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said, per NHL.com.

“But we also think that they need somebody who is going to be on the puck. Somebody who is going to hound pucks, somebody who is going to forecheck, somebody who is going to go to the net, and also somebody who is going to be responsible at both ends of the ice. We’ll see how it works out.”

Bergenheim left Florida with eight goals and 10 assists in 39 games for the Panthers this season.

“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve played this season in the role I’ve been given,” he told the Star Tribune. “But I know there’s a lot more energy in me to play a better role.

“I want to bring energy, I want to bring forechecking, I want to bring pressure in the offensive zone. I want to get the pucks to the net, get myself to the net, and hopefully score some goals. I think in that sense I can help the team.”

Goalie nods: Zepp starts fourth straight as Flyers push for playoffs

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Zepp goes for Flyers

Philly will turn to Rob Zepp for the fourth straight game when it takes on the Leafs in Toronto this evening.

Zepp, 33, has fared reasonably well in his first-ever NHL campaign. He’s posted a 5-2-0 record, though his GAA (2.80) and save percentage (.893) leave something to be desired.

At the same time, the Flyers need wins right now — they head into tonight’s action four points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference — and Zepp has provided those; he’s won two of his last three starts, which included impressive victories against the NHL-leading Predators and Washington, who currently holds the east’s other wild card.

For Toronto, Jonathan Bernier will be in goal.

Elsewhere…

Canucks at Sabres: Eddie Lack vs. Michal Neuvirth (more here)

Coyotes at Rangers: Mike Smith vs. Cam Talbot

Habs at Jackets: Carey Price vs. Curtis McElhinney

Hawks at Panthers: (No word on a Chicago starter yet) vs. Roberto Luongo

Blues at Jets: Brian Elliott vs. Michael Hutchinson

Wild at Preds: (Devan Dubnyk likely) vs. Pekka Rinne

Sens at Kings: (No word on an Ottawa starter yet) vs. Jonathan Quick

Wings at Sharks: (No word on a Detroit starter yet vs. Antti Niemi

Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight

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The Chicago Blackhawks won’t have to wait long to see Alex Petrovic, the Florida defenseman who’s hit broke Patrick Kane’s collarbone on Tuesday night.

The Panthers and ‘Hawks meet again tonight in Florida, and Petrovic sounds like he knows what’s coming.

“Tonight, obviously, [the Blackhawks] are going to come out hard and probably seek revenge or whatnot,” he said, per TSN. “It’s unfortunate that it happened.”

Petrovic, who was given a cross-checking minor on the play but received no supplemental discipline, said he reached out to teammates (and ex-‘Hawks) Jimmy Hayes and Brian Campbell to try and reach out to Kane, who underwent surgery yesterday and will miss the next 12 weeks of action.

But that apology might not appease Chicago.

Noted pugilist Dan Carcillo, who last played in Sunday’s 6-2 loss to Boston, could draw back into the lineup for tonight’s affair. The ‘Hawks aren’t scrappers by nature — just 13 team fighting majors this year, third-lowest in the NHL — and outside of Carcillo, the only players with multiple fights are Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw, with two each.

Petrovic, listed at 6-foot-4, 206 pounds, has some experience dropping the gloves. He fought 10 times during his final year of junior (with WHL Red Deer) and has scrapped four times this year between the AHL and NHL.

NHL on NBCSN: Wild need two points from NHL-leading Preds

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Nashville Predators host the Minnesota Wild at the Bridgestone Arena at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

Under normal circumstances, losing a single game against any team — even the lowly Edmonton Oilers — after winning 11 of 13 wouldn’t be an issue, but it is for the Minnesota Wild. Their midseason struggles combined with the increasingly competitive nature of the Western Conference Wild Card race has put Minnesota in a situation where it can’t afford to absorb many more setbacks.

So while a loss against the NHL-leading Nashville Predators would be understandable, it would also be ill-timed. The Wild should consequently have no trouble finding motivation tonight, but it will still be an uphill battle given Nashville’s near complete dominance at home. The Predators have a 26-3-1 record at the Bridgestone Arena while the Wild are mediocre 14-14-2 on the road.

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As has consistently been the case since he was acquired from Arizona, the Wild will likely lean on goaltender Devan Dubnyk. However, he’ll be backed by another reinforcement in forward Sean Bergenheim. The Wild acquired him from the Florida Panthers on Tuesday along with a 2016 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2016 third-round selection.

Bergenheim spent six straight games in the press box before the trade and only averaged 14:09 minutes per contest even when he did play, but Minnesota is betting that he can bounce back if given the chance.

“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve played this season in the role I’ve been given,” Bergenheim told the Star Tribune. “But I know there’s a lot more energy in me to play a better role.

“I want to bring energy, I want to bring forechecking, I want to bring pressure in the offensive zone. I want to get the pucks to the net, get myself to the net, and hopefully score some goals. I think in that sense I can help the team.”

Jason Pominville will be another Minnesota forward to keep an eye on. He’s second on the team with 41 points in 60 contests, but he’s been held off the scoresheet for six straight contests and has finished without a point in 11 of his last 14 games. The Wild have excelled lately even without his normal offensive production, but at some point they’re going to need him to step up if they want to maintain their recent pace.

Given how effective Nashville has been, tonight might be the night Minnesota needs Pominville to bounce back.