Florida is 0-3 at the start of a four-game homestand, as the first-place club has lost three straight in regulation for the first time all season. The Panthers, who haven't played since Sunday's 2-0 loss against Anaheim, have lost four in a row just once this season when they posted an 0-2-2 mark from Jan. 13-20.
With 65 points, the Panthers enter tonight's contest tied for first in the Southeast Division with Winnipeg. Florida has played four less games than the Jets and also holds two games in hand over the Capitals, who are two points off the lead.
Meanwhile, Minnesota hopes to it can keep heading in the right direction tonight after snapping a seven-game losing streak with Sunday's 2-0 home win over Boston. It was just the sixth win in 29 games (6-17-6) for the Wild, who are still only five points out of a playoff spot in the West.
This evening's tilt marks the first meeting between Florida and the Wild since the Panthers recorded a 2-1 home win on Nov. 12, 2010. That ended a four-game slide as the host in this series for Florida, which has won two straight overall against Minnesota after dropping the previous seven encounters.
Florida has scored a total of three goals during its current slide and the Panthers failed to get any of their 31 shots past Jonas Hiller on Sunday, as the Ducks posted the 2-0 win. Jose Theodore was the tough-luck loser, giving up one goal on 26 shots for the Panthers.
"We certainly need to find ways to score goals," Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen said. "Right now we're not creating enough on the offensive end to get us two points at the end of the night."
Florida, which will play three of its next four on the road after tonight, is 14-8-7 as the host this season.
On the injury front, the Panthers hope to get defenseman Ed Jovanovski back tonight after he sat out the last 14 games with a broken right hand. The veteran blueliner suffered the injury in fight with Boston's Daniel Paille on Jan. 16 and is questionable for tonight.
Panthers forward Matt Bradley sustained a head injury in Sunday's game against Anaheim and is out indefinitely.
Niklas Backstrom willed Minnesota to a victory against the Bruins on Sunday, as made a career-high 48 saves for his fourth shutout of the season in the 2-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
After a scoreless first period that saw Backstrom turn away 14 shots and Boston's Tim Thomas stop 12, the Wild scored twice in the middle stanza.
"[Backstrom] was outstanding tonight, especially early in the game," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. "To make those saves early gives us a lot of confidence the rest of the way."
Backstrom is expected to start again tonight with Matt Hackett serving as the backup. Regular backup Josh Harding did not make the trip to Florida due to an undisclosed injury.
Matt Cullen and Chad Rau scored for the Wild, who also snapped a five-game skid at home.
Minnesota has a chance to snap yet another losing streak tonight, as the club has lost three straight on the road heading into this evening's tilt. The Wild, who will also visit Dallas on Friday before heading back to St. Paul, are 12-14-5 as the road team this year.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury and did not travel with the team to Florida.