Florida Panthers Open Preseason with Nashville Doubleheader
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CORAL SPRINGS — The Florida Panthers have completed the first four days of training camp and will fly to Tennessee on Monday morning for a preseason doubleheader against the Nashville Predators.
The rosters for the two games are below with new coach Paul Maurice loading up with veteran players in both games.
”They’re all playing, every single Florida Panthers who is healthy is playing,” Maurice said. “I couldn’t justify leaving five veteran players back.
”We’re taking the team. There are 40 (lineup) spots open and we’ll fill in with young players and those trying to make the team. But everyone is playing.”
Maurice said goalies Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight will play. Both should play about 30 minutes.
The first game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville; Game 2 is set for 8.
The game will be streamed on the Nashville Predators website.
“We will look at some players who will be future Florida Panthers before they get returned back to their other teams and then we’ll look at players who will be competing for the open spots,” Maurice said.
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Sasha Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Bobrovsky will play in the first game; Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, San Reinhart and Knight go in the second.
Patric Hornqvist is one of the few regulars who will not play.
Florida, which opened camp with 55 players, will make its initial cuts following Monday’s game with the first moves being junior players returned to their teams in Canada.
The Panthers will have four preseason games remaining — including Thursday night against Carolina in Sunrise — and Maurice is expected to give players battling for the handful of available roster spots the longest looks.
Although the Florida roster is pretty much locked down, there are a couple of forward positions and at least one spot for a defenseman up for grabs barring injury.
As for the Panthers’ players, getting the chance to get back into a game situation is welcomed especially following four intense workouts to start training camp.
”I know it’s preseason, but we look at it like an opportunity to go out there and show what you have improved on over the summer,” said defenseman Matt Kiersted. “We get to see how much better we got in the offseason.”
After today, Florida will play Carolina and Tampa Bay two times each before the regular season opener Oct. 13 against the host New York Islanders.
— Two players who definitely will not play today are Zac Dalpe and Justin Sourdif who have been sidelined the past few days with what Maurice said are minor injuries.
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Game 1, 4 p.m.
Defensemen: 3 Matt Kiersted; 5 Aaron Ekblad; 7 Radko Gudas; 42 Gustav Forsling; 75 Santtu Kinnunen; 79 Calle Sjalin
Forwards: 12 Eric Staal; 14 Grigori Denisenko; 16 Sasha Barkov; 20 Aleksi Heponiemi; 23 Carter Verhaeghe; 27 Eetu Luostarinen; 36 Patrick Giles; 38 Rudolfs Balcers; 41 Henry Bowlby; 89 Logan Hutsko; 94 Ryan Lomberg; 97 Kai Schwindt
Goalies: 29 Mack Guzda; 72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Game 2, 8 p.m.
Defensemen: 4 Michael Del Zotto; 18 Marc Staal; 44 Marek Alscher; 52 Evan Nause; 53 John Ludvig; 62 Brandon Montour
Forwards: 6 Colin White; 8 Gerald Mayhew; 9 Sam Bennett; 13 Sam Reinhart; 15 Anton Lundell; 19 Matthew Tkachuk; 21 Nick Cousins; 56 Josh Davies; 71 Chris Tierney; 76 Anton Levtchi; 84 Liam Arnsby; 95 Sandis Vilmanis
Goalies: 30 Spencer Knight; 34 Alex Lyon
Not playing: D Anthony Bitetto; F Riley Nash; F Justin Sourdif; F Connor Bunnaman; D Lucas Carlsson; D Dennis Cesana; D Braden Hache; D Nathan Staios; F Ethan Kepper; F Patric Hornqvist; D Zachary Uens; D Max Gildon; G J-F Berube; G Evan Fitzpatrick
FLORIDA PANTHERS PRESEASON
Today: at Nashville, 4 p.m.
Today: at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Thursday: vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.
Saturday: at Carolina, 1 p.m.
Oct. 6: vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8: at Tampa Bay, 4 p.m.
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Hey George. I’m just wondering like others have been curious. What’s up with Noel?