Takeaways from Panthers 3-1 win over Penguins

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers pulled through after a slow start on Friday night, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 as they improved to 16-8-2 on the season.


The Panthers ended their three game home stand winners of two straight. They’ll be away from Sunrise for about two weeks as they hit the road for the next five games.


Here’s the game takeaways. 


Ekman-Larsson nets his seventh goal of the year  

To put it lightly, the Panthers didn’t have a ton of juice for the first 37 minutes of the game.


After Penguins forward Reilly Smith opened the scoring 8:05 into the second, the Panthers had two power play chances to get back into the game. 


Florida failed to convert on both chances and when the second opportunity came around, the home crowd let them know their discontent with the effort, showering some boos across the stadium.


The effort up to that point was lackluster to say the least, but with the Penguins leading just 1-0, it was a one bounce game.


Luckily for Florida, they got that next bounce from their top scoring defenseman.


Just seconds after Pittsburgh killed off their second power play of the night, Oliver Ekman-Larsson snuck backdoor from the point  to one-hand poke in his seventh goal of the season — tying the game at 1-1.


You get seven goals as a defenseman a third of the way into the season, you’re a player. You’re a big-time player,” coach Paul Maurice said of Ekman-Larsson. “We’ve been good for him, but he’s been great for us.


With that goal, Ekman-Larsson moved into a tie with Drew Doughty and Cale Makar for second most goals by a defenseman in the NHL. 


Multi-point night for Lundell

Wherever there was offense for the Panthers, Anton Lundell was somewhere near.


The 22-year-old forward was a +3 on the night, picking up assists on Florida’s first two goals. 


Panthers coach Paul Maurice wasn’t shy post game when talking about his criticism of his team’s play in the second period, however he did acknowledge that Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen, who scored the winning goal, weren’t on his bad list. 


“They were the guys that I didn’t swear at. All game I don’t think,” Maurice said. “Lundy was on it, and it was hard.”


While he picked up two assists, Maurice mentioned that he believes Lundell is close to flipping the switch on the goal scoring side of things. 


“This guy wants to score some goals, it’s a big year for him. But he hasn’t cheated the game to do it,” Maurice added. “If he gets one he’s going to score a bunch.”


Panthers lock it down in the third

Florida was noticeably the lesser of the two teams in the second period, and Paul Maurice wasn’t pleased with their effort after 40.


Whatever was said in the locker room at the second intermission seemed to have worked — it was a different Panthers team in the third. 


The lack of energy I mentioned earlier wasn’t the case in the final period of regulation. Florida came out stronger in the third. 


They were quicker on pucks, more sound preventing odd-man rushes through the neutral zone and most importantly, they didn’t let much through on Sergei Bobrovksy.  


Bobrovsky kept the game close in the first two periods, his teammates did the rest in the third. 


“You know, he’s a good goalie and he’s going to be there every time,” Ekman-Larsson said. “I think he kept us in the game early on”


Florida gave up just five shots in the third period — three of those coming in the final 60 seconds with Pittsburgh having an extra attacker.


Bobrovsky had 22 saves in his 13th game of the season. 


With 27 seconds remaining, Aleksander Barkov iced the game with an empty net goal. 


Panthers Notes

Florida’s next game is Dec. 10, at the Columbus Blue Jackets.


The Panthers next home game is Dec. 21 against the St. Louis Blues. 


Aleksander Barkov scored his ninth goal of the season — he has 25 points on the year.

Takeaways: Rodrigues gets 4 points in Panthers 5-4 win over Stars

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers snapped a three game home losing steak on Wednesday night, defeating the Dallas Stars 5-4 at Amerant Bank Arena.


Evan Rodrigues led all skaters with four points.  Sergei Bobrovsky had 29 saves in his 12th win of the season.  Florida improves their record to 15-8-2 on the season.


Here’s my game takeaways.


The first-line carries again

When Florida needed offense this season, it’s usually coming from those on the first-line. 


The trio of Sam Reinhart, Aleksander Barkov, and Evan Rodrigues are top-five in scoring amongst Florida skaters.


Against Dallas, Florida’s top line put on a show. 


Rodrigues equaled his best game in a Panthers uniform on Wednesday, picking up four points (two goals, two assists).


“It’s definitely nice,” Rodrigues said when talking about his goals. “I had one against the Islanders (last game) that I should have put in and wanted back. It’s nice to bounce back and get a couple today.”


Sam Reinhart had three points, Aleksander Barkov had two, and both players scored a goal.


Reinhart is second in the league with 17 goals. He leads the Panthers in scoring with 32 points.



Multi-point night for Mikkola

The first year of Niko Mikkola in a Panthers jersey has been a great one for the Finnish defenseman.


Mikkola, 27, already tied his career high in goals this season (three) earlier the year.


On Wednesday night, Mikkola had two assists for just his second multi-point game of the season.


While it may be a surprise for some to see Mikkola near the top of the box score, his fellow countryman and captain thinks otherwise. 


“It’s not surprising. I always knew he was a great player,” said Aleksander Barkov. “I’m really happy for him and it’s been going well for him” 


Mikkola is second on the team in points by a defenseman with 10. 


Panthers hold on after five goal third period

The final period of regulation was surely a fun one for the neutral fan watching Wednesday’s nationally broadcasted Panthers – Stars game.


After the first 40 minutes of play, the Panthers lead 3-1. 


Florida, who entered the night fourth best in goals allowed in the third, didn’t have the same consistency against Dallas. 


The Stars were able to score two unanswered to tie the game at 3-3 just 4:14 into the third period. Dallas would put three past Bobrovsky in the period before the final buzzer. 


“Couple of strange ones there to tie it 3-3, but there really wasn’t the sag or the panic on the bench,” coach Paul Maurice said. “I liked the way the bench felt in the kind of momentum swings that we saw.”


Despite losing a multi-goal lead early in the period, Florida would get two goals of their own in the final 20, just scraping by for a one-goal win.

Panthers Notes

Florida’s next game is Friday, Dec. 8 at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Oliver Ekman-Larsson had one assist on Wednesday — he leads all Panthers defensemen in scoring with 13 points.


Carter Verhaeghe scored his 12th goal of the season.

Takeaways from Panthers 4-3 loss to Islanders

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers couldn’t overcome a two goal deficit on Saturday, falling to the New York Islanders 4-3 at Amerant Bank Arena.   


Islanders’ goalie Ilya Sorokin saved 42 of the 45 shots he faced as he handed the Panthers their third consecutive loss at home.    

Here’s some takeaways from the game. 

Islanders crack the Panthers’ stellar penalty kill

After 26 straight successful penalty kill attempts, spanning over six games, the Panthers penalty kill finally conceded a goal. 


Islanders’ captain Anders Lee broke the Panthers streak 12:36 into the first — putting New York up 1-0. 


Prior to Saturday, the last power play goal the Panthers gave up was Nov. 17 against the Anaheim Ducks.


Florida ended November with a 90.4 percent success rate on the kill — which was third best in the league over the month. 


The Panthers finished the game 1-2 on the penalty kill. 


Matthew Tkachuk snaps goal drought 

In 2022-2023, Matthew Tkachuk had 40 goals on the season, which was second on the team, just behind Carter Verhaeghe’s 42. Through 23 games this season, Tkachuk had scored just three times.


Entering Saturday night’s matchup against the Islanders, Tkachuk was without a goal in his last 10 games — last scoring on Nov. 10 against the Carolina Hurricanes. 


With the Panthers down two in the second period, Tkachuk beat Sorokin for his fourth goal of the season, cutting the Panthers deficit to one.  


While it’s definitely going to be a nice feeling for Tkachuk to find the back of the net again, his teammates weren’t worried, even when he was on a drought.


“I’m not too worried about him,” Verhaeghe responded when asked about Tkachuk. “Sometimes the puck isn’t bouncing … he’s gonna get a lot of goals.”


Ilya Sorokin backstops the Islanders with big performance 

“I didn’t think they had the edge,” is what Paul Maurice’s first said after the  4-3 loss on Saturday to the Islanders, and he has a decent argument.  


In the one goal loss, Florida outshot the Islanders 45-27.  


Did the Panthers play great? Absolutely not — however — tonight’s game wasn’t a blatantly in your face poor performance like their last home game against Winnipeg was.


“We played the same style of game that we played in our last three much better than the fifth game ago (Nov. 14 vs Winnipeg),” Maurice said.  “If we made a mistake it was in our net.”


New York clearly won the goaltending battle tonight. Ilya Sorokin had 42 saves in what was his sixth win of the season. 


On the other side of the ice, Florida’s Anthony Stolarz didn’t have a spectacular night, giving up four goals on 27 shots. 


And for pucks that didn’t get through to Sorokin, the Islanders did a pretty good job getting in the way of those, blocking 25 shots — six more than the Panthers did. 


“I think we played the right way,” Gustav Forsling said. “We couldn’t really get the puck in, they did a good job.”


Florida drops to 14-8-2 on the season and 7-4-0 at home.  


Panthers notes 

Florida’s next game will be Wednesday, Dec. 6 at home against the Dallas Stars. 


Josh Mahura was activated off IR on Saturday — he hasn’t played since Nov. 16.


Sam Reinhart scored his 16th goal of the season Saturday. He leads the team in scoring. 

Takeaways: Panthers wrap up road trip with dominating 5-1 win over Canadiens

The Florida Panthers wrapped up their three-game Canadian road trip on a high note Thursday night, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 at the Bell Centre. Florida will return home after picking up five of a possible six points on the trip — improving their record to 14-7-2.


Sergei Bobrovsky had 21 saves in what was his 11th win of the season. The Panthers remain second in the Atlantic Division entering December.


Here’s my game takeaways.

How about that penalty kill

One of the biggest shames in hockey is the two minutes spent in the box after you take a penalty. However, for the Panthers’ players, they haven’t had to worry too much as of late after taking a penalty — their penalty kill is on fire.


In the final game of November, Florida’s penalty kill continued its dominating play. The Panthers went 6-for-6 on the kill against the Canadiens as they have killed off 26 consecutive penalties. Florida has been perfect on the kill for six straight games.


“Your penalty killing is absolutely no different than power play. Your confidence is every bit as important,” coach Paul Maurice said. “When  you’re confident in both units you’re faster… our penalty kill now has got confidence, it’s got speed, it’s got pace.


The Panthers’ success on the  penalty kill is the polar opposite of what it was in October.

Florida went from being tied for the league’s worst penalty kill in the first month of the season at 67.9 percent — to one of the best (top 3) in November at 90.4 percent.


Out of the gates hot in the third

The first 40 minutes of hockey in Montreal wasn’t amazing for the Panthers. Outside of the strong play from the penalty killers, Florida had just a one goal lead entering the final period of regulation.


When the Panthers took the ice for the third, they were determined to take complete control of the game.


Just eight seconds into the period, Sam Bennett extended Florida’s lead to two with his third goal of the season.


Evan Rodrigues would put the Panthers up 3-0 less than three minutes later. Carter Verhaeghe put the game out of reach 5:49 into the third, scoring his 10th goal of the season as the Panthers went up 4-0 on the Habs.  Florida scored three goals on their first five shots of the period.

“I think we just continue to do the little things right,” Rodrigues said. “We didn’t change our game, we didn’t cheat to offense… I think we were over passive in the first two [periods]. We made a commitment to shooting it and they started to go in.


Montreal’s Jonathan Kovacevic would get the Canadiens on the board, ending Sergei Bobrovsky’s shutout campaign 9:30 into the third. Bobrovsky would only let in the one goal.


“The guys did a great job in front of me, so I have to compliment their game,” Bobrovsky said.


Oliver Ekman-Larsson would score the final goal of the game with just 10 seconds remaining in regulation.

Another milestone night for the captain

It seems like Aleksander Barkov is setting new career milestones every couple of games this season.

Earlier this month he became the Panthers’ franchise leader in games played. On Monday he scored his 650th career point and picked up his 400th career assist.


On Thursday night, Barkov added another milestone to the resume, scoring his 250th career goal.


After the two sides went 27 minutes without a goal to begin the game, Barkov opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season 7:07 into the second.

“It’s another goal,” Barkov said to Bally Sports rinkside reporter Katie Engelson. “Hopefully I get to 300 and then maybe more, we don’t think about that yet. It’s always nice to score goals, I’m playing with unreal players so I got to score from those chances.”


Barkov is averaging just above a point-per-game. He has 22 points in 20 games this season after a two-point performance in Montreal.


Panthers notes

Carter Verhaeghe, Evan Rodrigues and Sasha Barkov all had two points (goal, assist)


Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his sixth goal of the season


Florida will return to Sunrise for a three-game homestand.


Next game is Dec. 2 against New York Islanders at Amerant Bank Arena

Panthers defeat Senators 5-0 in penalty-filled matchup

Florida’s past two games were not ones to be proud of. The Panthers were outscored 6-1 on home ice, dropping two-straight at Amerant Bank Arena for the first time all season.


“We were horseshit,” Paul Maurice simply put it after last Friday’s 3-0 loss to Winnipeg. 


After a few days between games and an extra hard skate on Sunday, the Panthers were back to winning ways on Monday night, defeating the Senators 5-0  in the first of three games on their Eastern Canada road trip.


Monday’s game was a conformable win for the Panthers, but that wasn’t without some drammatics in a penalty filled Atlantic Division matchup.


Here’s my takeaways.


Everyone gets a penalty, literally

If you can remember the last time Ottawa and Floirda met, it was April 6, 2023. That game saw 166 penalty minutes assessed between the two teams in Florida’s 7-2 win. 


A little over seven months later, somehow it happened again. 


It was a frustrating night for the Senators. Florida scored three-straight goals on power play to go up 3-0 in the second period. And when the third period came along, there were a lot more post-whistle scrums than scoring chances.


The mayhem really kicked off when Senators forward Zach MacEwen was ejected after taking a run at Matthew Tkachuk. MacEwen got a match penalty for elbowing Tkachuk in the head 5:13 into the third. 


After that, the flood gates really opened. 


12:38 into the third, all players on the ice, besides the goalies, were assessed game misconducts. Yes, everyone.


The official’s call made it even better, “And then every player on the ice has a 10-minute misconduct.”


By the end of the game there were 167 penalty minutes, a ton of game misconducts and a lot of empty space on the bench. Panthers backup goalie Anthony Stolarz took the rare chance to sit right in the middle of the vacant Florida bench.


“He came to sit on the bench, maybe hoping for one shift,” Barkov joked. 


Like Barkov, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice also had some playful remarks post game.


“That’s mild. We only got to about 160 something [penalty] minutes there. It’s got to get into the 250s before it gets too squirrelly,” Maurice said. “Both teams want to win and you get a little snarly. That was fun.”


Sam Reinhart can’t stop scoring

This has been a running theme all season — if the Panthers have success — Sam Reinhart probably scored. 


Reinhart scored the first two goals of the game on Monday night — both coming on the power play. 


The 28-year-old is having the best start to a season in his career, and it comes during a contract year for him.


Reinhart leads the Panthers in scoring with 15 goals on the season. His brace in Ottawa moved him into a tie for most goals in the league before the NHL’s Monday night slate was over. He has a team-high 27 points in 21 games.



Panthers capitalize early on the power play

Florida’s power play unit desperately needed some life after going just 1-17 over the past five games. 


The Panthers didn’t have to wait long before they’d get their first attempt on the man-advantage on Monday. Just 65 seconds into the first, the Panthers got to work on the power play. 


Sam Reinhart would score on the power play just 1:28 into the game. He’d score again on Florida’s second power play opportunity later on in the second period. 


“We needed it just to get that kind of confidence back,” Reinhart said on Monday’s power play success. “It’s an important one for us.”


Sam Bennett would elevate Florida’s lead to three and their power play goals to the same number 7:09 into the second. Florida was perfect on their first three power play chances of the night. 


Panthers notes

Florida has a quick turn around tomorrow, taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second half of the back-to-back.


Aleksander Barkov’s two-point night led to his 650th career point — all of which came as a Panther. 


Sergei Bobrovsky had 20 saves in his second shutout of the season.

Panthers fall to Bruins 3-1, enter Thanksgiving in a playoff spot

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers dropped their first game at home in over a month on Wednesday night, losing to the Boston Bruins 3-1 at Amerant Bank Arena. 


Charlie Coyle, John Beecher and Jake DeBrusk scored as the first-place Bruins improved to 14-1-3 on the season, and 2-0-0 against the Panthers.


Linus Ullmark took home first-star of the game honors on the back of his 27 save performance. The Bruins goalie is 7-1-1 on the season.


“He’s a good big goalie,” Aaron Ekblad said about Ullmark. “He likes to play the puck. Everytime you rim it, he stops it and makes a play.”


Anton Lundell got the lone Panthers goal on Wednesday, redirecting a puck off his foot into the net for his second goal of the season. Lundell centered the Panthers’ top line as they were without their captain Aleksander Barkvov for a second straight game.


“I never want anybody to be away (with an injury), but it’s an opportunity for our guys to step up. Not only me,” Lundell said. “Playing against other teams first lines is a huge challenge and I like to take that.” 


Last season’s seven game, first-round series between the Bruins and Panthers was a physical, competitive and emotional event. In the two games this season, it has felt like there’s been a lot of carry from that series. Tonight there was a combined 26 penalty minutes — with seven of 10 penalties coming in the first period. 


“It’s all built in the playoffs, there’s a little bit more edge to those games and that’s why they’re more fun to play,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You hope you make the playoffs a whole bunch of years, you develop 15 rivalries, that’s the idea…Coming to the rink is more fun with somebody you don’t like.”


The Panthers drop  to 12-6-1 on the season following Wednesday night’s loss, however they still sit second in the Atlantic Division at Thanksgiving. Florida is 7-2-0 at home this season.


Florida will be back at Amerant Bank Arena on Friday night to wrap up their three-game homestand, taking on the Winnipeg Jets at 8 p.m. The Jets lead the season series against the Panthers 1-0.


Panthers notes

The Panthers sold out Amerant Bank Arena for the third-straight game (19,327), fourth of the season. 


Florida was without their captain Aleksander Barkov again on Wednesday. Barkov has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury (day-to-day).


Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky  is 9-5-1 on the season.

Takeaways from Panthers’ 5-3 win over Oilers

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers continued their dominance at home on Monday night, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-3, improving their record at Amerant Bank Arena to 7-1-0. 


The Panthers fared well against the Oilers, despite the absence of their captain Aleksander Barkov (lower-body). Florida moves to 12-5-1 on the season, as they still sit second in the Atlantic Division, third in the Eastern Conference. 


Sergei Bobrovsky had 25 saves in his ninth win of the season, stopping all 10 shots he faced in the third period.


Here’s tonight’s takeaways.


Niko Mikkola gets two goals, first-star of the game

In a game with top goal scorers like Connor McDavid, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisailt and Carter Verhaeghe, it’s only right that 6’5 defenseman Niko Mikkola scored the most goals for the Panthers.


Mikkola, who had one goal in 17 games prior to Monday night, scored twice in what was his first career multi-goal game.


His first goal of the night knotted things up at 2-2, 15:53 into the third period. With the Panthers trailing, he would score again, tying the game 6:08 into the second.


Mikkola didn’t end up getting the third goal — which would have made him just the second defenseman in Panthers history  to hit that milestone (Mark Pysk, 2020), but he would finish the night as the first-star.


“Well, that (three goals) would be maybe too much for me,” Mikkola laughed. “Maybe if there’s a chance to shoot it at the empty net I would take it. I’ll take two for sure”


Mikkola now has three goals on the season — tying his previous career-high — which he set in 2021-2022 with the Blues. 


Three-point night for Kevin Stenlund

Florida was without their captain Aleksander Barkov, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.


Missing their No. 1 center, Florida had to do some line juggling. As a result, Kevin Stenlund jumped up to center the third line. 


Stenlund would finish with a team-high three points (1-2-3) on Monday, including the game-winning goal.


Even with the multi-point performance, Panthers coach Paul Maurice highlighted Stenlund’s play away from the puck.

“I thought he played great defensively,” Maurice said. “I would say that the best play [he made] was round the back post on the kill. That’s what he has to be elite at.”


Stenlund has been a good depth acquisition for the Panthers. The 27-year-old has seven points in 18 games (5-2-7).


Party in the sin bin

Those who are fans of a calm, quiet game of hockey — tonight was not that night. 


Edmonton and Florida only see each other twice a season, and besides a few former Calgary Flames on the Panthers’ side of the ice, this is no Battle of Alberta. 


Despite the lack of historical unpleasantries between the two sides, Monday’s game saw a ton of post-whistle interactions, a fight, seven power plays and 46 total penalty minutes. 


Tensions were going all night, and both teams could feel it. 


“Obviously they have a lot of skill over there and they’re desperate for some wins. But we have a group that wants to compete every night,” said Jonah Gadjovich, who got into a fight in his first home game as a Panther. “We know where we want to be and how we have to play, that’s what we come here to do.”


As for the chippiness in the game and how quickly the two sides felt it, Gajovich said it was “right from the puck drop.”


The Oilers would go 0-3 with the man-advantage. The Panthers were successful on their first powerplay, finishing the night 1-4. 


Panthers notes

Florida plays their next two games at home: Wednesday night against the Bruins and Friday night against the Jets. 


Ryan Lomberg played in his 200th career game on Monday night.

Ekblad and Montour make season debut, Barkov leaves game with injury in Panthers’ 2-1 win over Ducks

Aaron Ekblad, Brandon Montour and Jonah Gadjovich all made their season debut Friday night, Anthony Stolarz had 34 saves against his former team and the Florida Panthers beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 at the Honda Center. 


Eetu Luostarinen and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored as the Panthers won for the sixth time in seven games. Anton Lundell picked up two assists and was voted first-star of the game. 


“I thought Lundy and Luosty had an unbelievable game tonight,” Ekman-Larsson said.


Ekblad and Montour had been recovering from offseason surgeries after they were injured in Florida’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last season — both were activated earlier today. 


“We (Ekblad and Montour) went through five months of pretty gruelling rehab to get back to this point,” Ekblad said to Bally Sports rinkside reporter Katie Engleson postgame. “It was tough, it was a long road, it’s very sweet to get back into the lineup.


Jonah Gadjovich, who was also injured through the offseason, made his Panthers debut in Anaheim after returning today from an LTIR conditioning stint in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers.


Panthers’ captain Aleksander Barkov left the game early in the third period after taking a knee-on-knee hit from Ducks Jackson LaCombe. LaCombe was originally assessed as a five-minute major before it was downgraded to a two-minute minor for tripping. Barkov did not return to the game. 


Panthers coach Paul Maurice couldn’t provide an update on Barkov’s injury post-game.


“We got to get him back [to Florida] and get him looked at,” Maurice said. “Then, we’ll see from there.”


Barkov has had a great start to the season, averaging a point-per-game while driving the play at both ends of the ice for Florida. Anytime without their captain would be a major blow to this team — who seemed to finally get healthy with the return of Ekblad and Montour today, and Sam Bennett last week.


Radko Gudas, who spent the past three seasons with the Panthers, was reacquainted with his former teammates for the first time since signing with the Ducks in the offseason. Gudas was a key player on the Panthers blueline during the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 


Anaheim trailed 2-0 for the entirety of the second period — not getting on the board until later in the third. 


Former Panther Frank Vatrano broke the ice for Anaheim, scoring  his 12th goal of the season, 7:39 into the final period of regulation. 


The Ducks best period of the night was in the third. Following the Vatrano goal, Anaheim picked up their pace, outshooting the Panthers 15-3 in the final 20 minutes of play. 


Stolarz came up big down the stretch for the Panthers, winning his second game in four days. He is now  3-1-0 in his four starts this season. 


“He was, I think our best player,” Anton Lundell said about Stolarz. “We needed some big saves in key moments and we got them today from him.”


After going 2-1-0 on their California road trip, the Panthers improve to 11-5-1 on the season. They’ll return to Sunrise for three-straight home games. 

Bobrovsky starts tonight against Kings, Ekblad and Montour could return tomorrow against Ducks

Sergei Bobrovsky will get his 13th start of the season tonight as the Florida Panthers enter Thursday’s road matchup against the Los Angeles Kings riding a five-game win streak.


Panthers coach Paul Maurice said today that the only lineup change would be in net, with Bobrovsky coming back in for Anthony Stolarz, who started Tuesday night in San Jose.


The Panthers (10-4-1)  are currently third in the Eastern Conference, second in the Atlantic Division. 


The Kings (8-3-3) are fifth in the Western Conference, third in the Pacific Division.


Tonight’s game will be the first half of a back-to-back against the Southern California teams for the Panthers — they’ll face the Ducks tomorrow night.


With the back-to-back, it would not be a surprise if Florida goes back to Anthony Stolarz on Friday in Anaheim. Stolarz spent the past four seasons with the Ducks organization before signing with Florida this offseason. 


Ekblad, Montour Update


Defensemen Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad are both on the California road-trip and have been skating with the team for over two weeks now. The pair haven’t played this season as they both were recovering from offseason surgery.


 While they aren’t in the lineup tonight, Montour and Ekblad are very close to returning and could potentially play tomorrow, per Maurice — which would be ahead of the mid-December timeline that was originally set out for them in the offseason.


“We’ll make a decision on whether they play tomorrow,”  Maurice said. “It’s that soon now.”

Projected Lines for tonight 


Rodrigues – Barkov – Reinhart

Verhaeghe – Bennett – Tkachuk 

Luostarinen – Lundell – Cousins

Lomberg – Stenlund – Lorentz



Forsling – Ekman-Larsson

Mikkola – Kulikov

Mahura – Balinskis





Panthers Notes

— Sam Reinhart is on a five-game multi-point streak — 12 points over that span. He’s sixth in NHL scoring with 23 points (12-11-23).


— Carter Verhaeghe has a three-game active goal streak. He has 7 goals on the season — scoring in four of the last five games.


Puck Drop

Panthers vs Kings @ Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles, Calif.

10:30 et/7:30 pt

Verhaeghe Scores 100th Career Goal, Panthers Begin California Road Trip With Fifth-Straight Win

The Florida Panthers kicked off their three-game California road trip on the right track, defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-3 at the SAP Center Tuesday night.


Here’s some updates from last night’s late west-coast game in case you missed it. 


— Florida had five different goal scorers Tuesday night; Ryan Lomberg, Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe, Kevin Stenlund and Aleksander Barkov. 


— Carter Verhaeghe’s game-tying goal in the third period was the 100th of his career. The 28-year-old has seven goals on the season. 


— Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist against the Sharks, extending his point-streak to five games. Reinhart has scored at least two-points in each of the past five games. He leads the Panthers in scoring with 23 points. 


—  Anthony Stolarz, had 19 saves on 22 shots in his second win of the season. The Panthers’ backup goalie has a 2-1-0 record this season. 


— Florida won their fifth-straight game, improving their record to 10-4-1. They are third in the Eastern Conference (Boston, New York Rangers).


— Sam Reinhart, Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe all had two points Tuesday night. 


— Florida scored twice on the power play. This is only the second time all season they’ve converted more than once with the man-advantage (Nov. 12 vs Chicago).  


— The Panthers will make the short trip from San Jose to LA for a back-to-back in Southern California. They’ll face the Kings on Thursday and the Ducks on Friday. 


— Sergei Bobrovsky, who got the night off in San Jose, will most likely get the start against LA.


— Friday’s matchup against Anaheim will be the first time Ducks defenseman Radko Gudas faces his former team. Gudas, 33, spent the last three seasons with the Panthers. Former Panther Frank Vatrano is also with the Ducks.