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‘We need to get going’: Florida Panthers ready to end three-game home losing streak

It has been a rarity as of late for the Florida Panthers to lose multiple games in a row on home ice.

But that’s the situation the Panthers find themselves in heading into their Wednesday night game against the Dallas Stars.

Florida has lost each of its past three games at Amerant Bank Arena — 3-1 to the Boston Bruins on Nov. 22, 3-0 to the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 24 and 4-3 to the New York Islanders on Monday. It’s the first time the Panthers have lost three consecutive home games since February 2022.

The caveat with this home losing streak: The Panthers had a strong showing on their three-game Canada trip sandwiched between the losses, so coach Paul Maurice isn’t putting too much stock into the home skid just yet.

“I don’t think we’ve necessarily lost it,” Maurice said of the Panthers’ home-ice advantage. “Certainly to our fans, it may feel that way, but ... we like the way we play. We have a fun style to watch. We play hard but we don’t cheat the game, and because of that we’ve got great crowds — and we want to keep that. If you’re coming to the rink and you want to cheer for the Panthers, we want to give you lots of reasons to cheer. We win more games when there’s more fans in the building. It just feels different. We want to be good. We owe it to our fans to put on a good event for them to come and be proud of the team they support.”

Before this recent lull, the Panthers did that. They won seven of their first eight home games. The fans have done their part, too. Florida has averaged 18,180 fans through their first 11 home games, including four sellouts.

A common thread during the past three home losses: Florida has found itself playing from behind. The opponent scored the first goal in each of the three games, and the Panthers never had a lead at any point.

“Get the first goal, or at least have a really good start,” Panthers star winger Matthew Tkachuk said. “I know we’ve given up the first goal the last few games at home and have been trailing at home. When we’re playing with the lead and just coming at you in waves, we’re a really hard to to play. We’ve just got to get back to that.”

Added center Anton Lundell: “We need to get going. It’s time to take a step back in the right direction.”

Lineup updates

Forward Jonah Gadjovich will return to the Panthers’ lineup on Wednesday against Dallas after sitting out Saturday’s game against the Islanders with what Maurice called a minor upper-body injury.

Gadjovich will rejoin Florida’s fourth line, playing on the left wing with Kevin Stenlund at center and Ryan Lomberg on the right wing.

Sergei Bobrovsky will be in net.

The rest of the lineup remains unchanged, leaving forward Steven Lorentz and defensemen Josh Mahura and Uvis Balinskis as Florida’s players scratched from the lineup against Dallas.