Sunrise, Fla. – In their final tune-up in advance of the normal time, the Florida Panthers couldn’t conquer the early exits of two of their best defensemen in a really hard-fought 3-2 decline to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night time at BB&T Middle.
Right after losing equally Keith Yandle and Bogdan Kiselevich within the first six minutes of the first period of time, the Panthers were forced to trudge by means of the remainder of the video game with just 4 defensemen: Mike Matheson, Mark Pysyk, Alexander Petrovic and Jacob MacDonald.
Still, mentor Bob Boughner was happy with his team’s solve and functionality in defeat.
“I was happy with the way we performed tonight, in particular these 4 men,” Boughner stated. “They all performed perfectly. You could tell toward the close of the video game that it took its toll on us we made a couple of mistakes. But I believe that was 1 of our very best preseason online games of the calendar year.”
The Panthers will now have a week off of online games in advance of opening the time in Tampa on Oct. 6.
“I believe the subsequent couple times we are going to decompress and not be overly worried with construction, X’s and O’s, and points like that,” Boughner stated. “It’ll be a tiny little bit of relaxation, a tiny little bit of staff bonding, and then get back to perform.”
1. HUBERDEAU OPENS IT UP
Jonathan Huberdeau broke the ice on Saturday night time.
Right after corralling a wonderful pass from new linemate Mike Hoffman around the blue line, the 25-calendar year-outdated winger skated in on goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy all on your own. Right after failing to change on his first endeavor, Huberdeau cashed in on his second probability, pounding the puck into the internet to give the Panthers an early 1- lead at 11:00 of the first period of time.
“I was hunting for that line to have a tiny little bit of chemistry, and we saw that tonight,” Boughner stated. “They experienced lots of likelihood.”
Entering his seventh time with Florida, Huberdeau set new profession highs in ambitions (27), assists (42), details (69), typical ice time (19:12) and online games performed (82) past time. Moreover, his 69 details positioned him in a tie for 37th in the league and his 42 assists were tied for the 10th-most in franchise heritage.
On a line with Hoffman and Vincent Trocheck, Huberdeau seems poised for equivalent generation this time.
“Huby looked excellent,” Boughner stated. “It was excellent to see that line appear up.”
2. KISELEVICH BANGED UP
Right after taking a puck to the deal with early in the first period of time, Kiselevich did not return to the video game.
“Kisser got, I believe, 40 stiches,” Boughner stated. “He’s at the unexpected emergency place proper now. They are examining out his jaw. Certainly, it is not the very best of information.”
Kiselevich is coming off a nine-calendar year profession in Russia’s KHL, exactly where he posted 23 ambitions and 100 assists in 393 profession online games for CSKA Moscow (2014-18) and Severstal Cherepovets (2009-14). At the global amount, he gained a gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Game titles.
Signing up for the Panthers on a 1-calendar year deal this summertime, the 28-calendar year-outdated defenseman experienced suited up in 4 exhibition online games prior to Saturday night’s motion, recording 1 guide. At 6-foot and 207 kilos, he was projected to insert physical presence to Florida’s blue line.
A lot more updates on Kiselevich’s standing are expected to appear this week.
3. YANDLE ALSO EXITS
Just a few minutes after Kiselevich exited, Yandle joined him in the dressing place after absorbing a little bit hit from Lightning ahead Cedric Paquette.
“It took place earlier when he took the hit powering the internet,” Boughner stated. “He tried to appear back, rode a man toward our bench and felt it again to the stage exactly where he couldn’t definitely raise.”
Yandle, 32, ranked 12th in the league amongst blueliners with 56 details (8 ambitions, 48 assists) past time, together with 36 details on the electricity engage in. The NHL’s energetic ironman, he has not missed a normal time video game since March 22, 2009 – a streak of 715 consecutive online games.
As of proper now, the Panthers hope that streak isn’t really in jeopardy.
“We are going to know additional tomorrow,” Boughner stated. “With any luck ,, it is a predicament exactly where we can get him back subsequent week.”
4. HOFFMAN’S Scorching SHOT
5 forwards on the electricity engage in? Guaranteed!
With Yandle out of commission, the Panthers rolled out a one of a kind exclusive teams device of Hoffman, Trocheck, Evgenii Dadonov, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau when they headed to their first person advantage of the night time just in advance of the midway stage of the second period of time.
“We definitely like the glimpse of it,” Boughner stated. “It might be anything you see on Saturday. We basically talked about that a few weeks in the past, trying that out. We never got to it in exhibition. We were forced to tonight. Barky appears very snug back there.”
Even devoid of their electricity-engage in quarterback, the video game approach was accurately the exact same with the additional attacker: get the puck to Hoffman. With Hoffman locked and loaded at the best of the proper circle, Barkov fed the puck to Florida’s most recent winger, who unleashed a booming 1-timer to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead at 8:49 of the second period of time.
Acquired from San Jose this summertime, the objective was Hoffman’s first in a Panthers uniform.
“It felt excellent,” stated Hoffman, who is tied for 14th in the league with 21 electricity engage in ambitions around the earlier two seasons. “I imagined I’d help save it right up until we experienced a video game right here. I didn’t want to squander it on another arena… it feels excellent to get on the board and add a tiny little bit, in particular since it is our past video game heading into the normal time.”
5. LUONGO Appears to be Superior
Right after enabling six ambitions on 32 photographs in Thursday’s decline in Orlando, Luongo looked sharp all over the majority of Saturday night’s contest, stopping 23 of 26 photographs, together with a flawless 12-help save second period of time.
“I felt better than the past video game, but nonetheless not excellent sufficient for me,” Luongo stated. “I have just got to hold working right here. I have got 5 times to get ready and make certain I’m all set to go as soon as the puck drops on Saturday.”
Even at 39, there was a minute in the course of the video game when Luongo confirmed why he’s nonetheless 1 of the very best in the league. Close to the six-minute mark of the second period of time, he went to his facet to prevent a flurry of photographs from left facet of the crease, leaving the majority of the group briefly speechless.
“It was desperation, additional than nearly anything,” Luongo stated. “I was just trying to keep as lengthy as I could… It was desperation. I put my stick out, my glove. I believe it hit equally. A little bit of luck, a little bit of ability. I am going to just take it.”
Entering his 19th NHL time, Luongo confirmed past time that he can nonetheless perform at a extremely higher amount when healthier. In 33 begins, he owned an 18-11-2 report with three shutouts, a 2.47 ambitions-towards typical and a .929 help save proportion – the fourth-very best proportion in the league.
Wanting in advance, Luongo is expected to start off the normal-time opener in Tampa.
“They are cross-condition rivals,” Luongo stated. “We are going to engage in them a bunch of situations.”