Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya have helped the Florida Panthers reach the top of the Atlantic Division with stingy goaltending, but pucks are slipping past them at an alarming rate lately.
The Nashville Predators are having that problem, too, and the scoreboard operator could be busy Saturday night when the slumping clubs meet in Sunrise.
Florida (32-17-6) ranks near the top of the league defensively allowing an average of 2.3 goals per game, backed by Luongo's 2.23 goals-against average in 43 appearances and Montoya's 2.06 mark in 15 games.
Both were needed Friday, though, after Luongo allowed three goals on 13 shots in the first period and Montoya made 13 saves in the final 40 minutes of a 5-3 loss to St. Louis that began a six-game homestand.
The Panthers, who were coming off Tuesday's 7-4 win at Buffalo, dropped to 1-2-1 following a five-game winning streak and have allowed at least three goals in each of their last five.
"(Luongo's) been a horse all year long. It was just to shake up the team," coach Gerard Gallant said. "We weren't happy with how we were playing."
Derek MacKenzie, Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau scored while Jaromir Jagr had two assists for Florida, which had its division lead trimmed to five points over Detroit after the Red Wings lost to Colorado in a shootout Friday.
Aleksander Barkov missed his second straight with an upper-body injury suffered from a big hit in Monday's loss at Detroit and isn't expected to return until at least Monday against Pittsburgh.
"We were not as sharp as we were the past few games," Huberdeau said. "I think (Saturday) we've got to come back and be better defensively. That's usually where we're good at. (Friday), we allowed too many odd-man rushes."
Luongo has an .893 save percentage over his last four, but a short night could mean he'll be in net for this one. The Predators, on the other hand, might want to consider giving Pekka Rinne a break.
Nashville (25-21-9) has scored 15 times over its last four, but it also has allowed 17 goals during that time as Rinne has struggled with a .838 save percentage in that stretch. He gave up the tying goal with 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation Friday before Tampa Bay scored 1:04 into overtime for a 4-3 victory over the Predators, who are 1-3-1 following a four-game winning streak.
James Neal scored his 20th goal to give him at least that many in each of his eight NHL seasons. Filip Forsberg has four goals and two assists over his last three after putting Nashville ahead 7:46 into the third.
The tying goal came with Nashville shorthanded and the Lightning having an empty net. The Predators weren't happy with the slashing call on Viktor Arvidsson that led to Tampa's power play.
"It seems like we're taking penalties at the wrong times," said Mike Fisher, who scored in the first. "We're trying to do the right things. We've just got to be a little smarter. It's hurting us."
Nashville had allowed one goal in each of its previous five. Backup Carter Hutton started one of those contests, making 26 saves in a 2-1 win over Calgary on Jan. 27 in his last outing.
Rinne faced only 16 shots when Huberdeau scored and Luongo made 32 saves in the Panthers' 2-1 victory in Nashville on Dec. 3. The Predators had gone 4-0-1 in the previous five meetings.