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PREVIEW: 'Blades, Swamp Rabbits meet again to start two-game set

Friday, February 7th
PREVIEW: 'Blades, Swamp Rabbits meet again to start two-game set

ESTERO, Fla. — Riding a nine-game point streak, the Florida Everblades (30-11-3-2, 65 pts.) open a two-game series against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (24-23-1-1, 50 pts.) with a Friday night matchup at Hertz Arena.   

VITALS:Game 47: Everblades vs. Greenville Swamp RabbitsWhen: 7:30 p.m. ETWhere: Hertz ArenaTickets: TicketmasterWatch: ECHL TVListen: WJBX (101.5 FM, 104.3 FM, 770 AM)Social: Twitter | InstagramPromotion: 239 Friday

Last time outKen Appleby stopped 24 shots and yielded less than three goals for the sixth straight start to help the Everblades earn a point in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Orlando Solar Bears on Wednesday at Hertz Arena. In the first meeting between the teams since Nov. 14, the Everblades dominated Orlando in shots on goal, firing 10 more shots than the Solar Bears, but Zachary Fucale denied all 35 shots he faced to give his squad its first win in Estero this year. RECAP

Series At A GlanceFriday will be the seventh time in the last 20 games that Florida has squared off with Greenville and the eighth total matchup between the division foes this year. With their 4-0 home win over the Swamp Rabbits on Jan. 24, the 'Blades continued their recent dominance of the Swamp Rabbits in Estero. Florida is 26-2-2 in the last 30 meetings in Southwest Florida, a stretch that dates back to the middle of the 2013-14 season.

Players to WatchCam Johnson (FLA) - After missing 20 straight games due to injury from Dec. 6-Jan. 24, Johnson has been remarkable in net for the Everblades over his last two starts. In his first game back from injury, Johnson stopped a career-high 37 shots on Jan. 25 against the Jacksonville Icemen in a 3-2 shootout win, which included stopping all three shootout attempts. He has made saves on 70 of the 74 shots he has faced in his two starts since returning from injury and has three straight victories dating back to Nov. 29. 

Mason Baptista (GVL) - In his fifth pro season, Baptista was a key addition to the Swamp Rabbits in the offseason. The North York, Ontario, native is second on Greenville in assists with 22 and is tied for third in scoring with 34 points. However, Baptista has been quiet in seven games against Florida, notching just three assists. A two-time national champion at the Division III level with St. Norbert (WI), Baptista has 177 career ECHL points (74g, 103a) in 275 career games. 

Regulation StalemateWednesday was the first time in more than 11 years that Florida finished regulation in a scoreless deadlock. The 2008-09 season was the last time the 'Blades and their opponent were tied at zero after the third period. Florida and the Augusta Lynx went all the way to a shootout with no score on Nov. 14, 2008, before Danick Bouchard scored the only goal of the skills session to lift the 'Blades to a 1-0 win on home ice.

The 'Blades BlitzWednesday's game with the Solar Bears was yet another contest where Florida surpassed 30 shots on goal. Florida has failed to reach 30 shots on goal in only 10 of its 46 games this season, recording 30-plus shots in 78.3% of its games. With 35 shots on Wednesday, the 'Blades have now reached at least 35 shots on goal in 17 games this season. 

Defensive DuelsThe midweek tilt with Orlando was only the third time this season that the 'Blades and their opponent have both been scoreless after the second period, and all three of those games have taken place at Hertz Arena. In fact, it was just the seventh time this year that Florida and its foe have been scoreless after even the first period. Six of those seven tilts have also transpired on home ice. Florida is now 6-0-1-0 in a game that is scoreless after 20 minutes. 

Next UpFlorida continues a stretch of five games in seven days with the series finale of the two-game set with the Swamp Rabbits on Saturday at 7 p.m. 

— 

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The Florida Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators and AHL's Milwaukee Admirals

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