DULUTH, Ga. — Riding a six-game winning streak, the Florida Everblades (43-15-5-0, 91 pts.) continue a four-game week and start a stretch of three games in three days with their final regular-season matchup against the Atlanta Gladiators (26-25-7-2, 61 pts.) on Friday night at Infinite Energy Arena.
Last Time OutNathan Perkovich scored twice in regulation and had one of Florida's two shootout goals to help the Everblades outlast the Orlando Solar Bears, 5-4, in a shootout on Wednesday night in Orlando. Florida led 4-1 less than eight minutes into the second thanks to two goals from Perkovich in a span of 1:22, but Orlando scored three times in 5:23 to tie the game at four. 'Blades goaltender Jeremy Helvig had 26 saves in his fifth straight win. BOX SCORE | RECAP
Players to WatchNathan Perkovich (FLA) – The 33-year-old veteran is second among active 'Blades players in goals with 21 and has registered a multi-goal effort in three of his last six games. Perkovich carries a four-game point streak into Friday's contest and has seven points (4g-3a) in that span. The Canton, Michigan, native has played a bulk of his professional career in Europe and has netted 31 points (21g-10a) in his first full ECHL season.
Nick Bligh (ATL) - Bligh has a six-game point streak entering Friday night and tabbed one point in each of the three meetings with Florida last week. He registered his second hat trick of the season on Sunday in Jacksonville to lead Atlanta to a 4-1 victory. The third-year pro played his college hockey at Dartmouth and is second on Atlanta in scoring with 43 points (23g-20a).
Series historyFriday is the 11th regular-season matchup between Florida and Atlanta. The Everblades have posted an 8-2-0-0 overall record against the Gladiators this year, including a 3-1-0-0 mark at Infinite Energy Arena. The 'Blades have dominated the all-time series with Atlanta, racking up a 99-53-15 record against the Gladiators, including a 29-3-0-1 mark in the three-year tenure of head coach Brad Ralph. Atlanta won the most recent tilt at Infinite Energy Arena, a 2-1 victory on Jan. 31, to snap a 24-game home losing streak against Florida.
Extra, ExtraAfter going 29 straight games without needing overtime, Florida has played in consecutive overtime tilts for just the third time this year. The Everblades lost each of their first five overtime games this season but have now reeled off five consecutive wins in overtime or shootout affairs. Florida is the ECHL's only undefeated team in shootouts this season (4-0).
Power Play ProficiencyFollowing a season-high stretch of five straight games without a power-play goal, Florida has heated up on the man advantage in recent weeks. The 'Blades have scored on the power play in six of their last seven games, tabbing 12 power-play goals on 33 chances in that span, a conversion rate of 36.4 percent. Florida's power-play conversion rate has jumped from 22nd in the league (14.8 percent) to 12th (17.8 percent) because of the hot stretch.
Fire AwayAfter being outshot in consecutive games on Feb. 23 and Feb. 27, which was just the second time this season Florida has been outshot in two straight contests, the 'Blades have now had as many shots or more shots than their opponent in seven straight games. Florida has been outshot in just 12 games this season, which is the second-fewest times for any ECHL team behind only Tulsa. The Oilers have been outshot in just eight games.
Next UpFollowing Friday's contest in Atlanta, Florida travels to South Carolina to start its final road series of the regular season, a two-game set with the South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday and Sunday.
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