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PREVIEW: 'Blades square off with Swamp Rabbits, go for 7th straight win

Friday, January 31st
PREVIEW: 'Blades square off with Swamp Rabbits, go for 7th straight win

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Aiming to stretch their winning streak to seven games, the Florida Everblades (28-11-2-2, 60 pts.) continue a three-game week with a Friday night matchup against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (23-21-1-1, 48 pts.) at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. 

VITALS:Game 44: Everblades at Greenville Swamp RabbitsWhen: 7:05 p.m. ETWhere: Bon Secours Wellness ArenaWatch: ECHL TVListen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)Social: Twitter | Instagram

Last time outKen Appleby stopped 31 shots, and Florida had five different players find the back of the net in a 5-2 win over the Fort Wayne Komets on Wednesday at Hertz Arena. After a scoreless first period, the game escalated in the middle frame, as the two teams combined for five goals and 48 penalty minutes. Florida scored the first two goals of the second period to take a 2-0 lead, but Fort Wayne battled back to tie it with 6:57 left in the second. The 'Blades wrestled the lead back on Logan Roe's 11th goal of the season with only 70 seconds left in the second before they added two more tallies in the third. RECAP

Series At A GlanceFriday is the seventh of 11 total meetings between Florida and Greenville this season and the fourth of five tilts at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The 'Blades have posted a 4-2-0-0 record against the Swamp Rabbits this year, including a 2-1-0 mark in Greenville. The 'Blades hold an all-time record of 57-33-15 against Greenville. Although the Swamp Rabbits have two regulation wins against Florida this season, including a 5-3 win on Dec. 20 to snap Florida's 16-game winning streak in the series, the 'Blades still have points in 21 of the last 23 matchups (19-2-2) with the Swamp Rabbits. 

Players to WatchJustin Auger (FLA) - Auger notched his 18th goal of the season on Wednesday against Fort Wayne and is tied for the team lead in that category. Not only has Auger been a consistent purveyor of offense this season, but the 6-foot-6 forward's knack for the net has also coincided with team success. Florida is now 15-2-0-0 this season when Auger scores a goal. The Waterloo, Ontario, native has five multi-point games and one multi-goal game this season, while his longest scoreless stretch is only two games. 

Patrick Bajkov (GVL) - The Florida Panthers' prospect has had anything but a sophomore slump in his second full season as a pro this year. After putting up four goals in 33 games last season, Bajkov has more than quadrupled that total this year, with 18 goals in 46 contests. He is tied for the team lead in goals and is tied for second in points with 33 (18g, 15a). The Nanaimo, British Columbia, native already has five multi-goal games this season. 

Winning WednesdaysWednesdays on home ice have treated the 'Blades well over each of the last two seasons. Florida has not lost at Hertz Arena on a Wednesday night in that two-year stretch and improved to 12-0-0-0 in such games with the victory over Fort Wayne. Florida's overall record on Wednesdays over the last two campaigns is just as exceptional. The 'Blades are 6-1-1-1 (.778) on Wednesdays this season and 17-4-1-1 (.783) on hump day in the last two seasons.

That's a PlusDefensive partners Logan Roe (+4) and Patrick McCarron (+3) combined for a plus-minus rating of +7 on Wednesday in a game where only one other player finished above a +2 rating. Although he had a plus-minus rating of -5 in a three-game stretch from Jan. 7-11, Roe is still leading the ECHL in plus-minus rating for January with a +12 mark and is the league leader in the category with a +34 rating for the season. McCarron has also had a solid month of January in that category, putting up a +10 rating. 

Going Streakin'Florida's six-game winning streak is tied for its longest winning streak this season. Both of the Everblades' six-game undefeated runs have come in the last month. Those two winning streaks have been sandwiched around a three-game skid in mid-January. Despite the three-game losing streak, the 'Blades have wins in 12 of their last 15 games since Dec. 21. 

Next UpThe Everblades close out the first of seven straight weeks of at least three games with a Saturday night matchup against the South Carolina Stingrays at North Charleston Coliseum.

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