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Anton Lundell Has Boost in Confidence After ‘Sticking With It’



Florida Panthers Anton Lundell
Anton Lundell prepares to fire a shot at Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo last week in Sunrise. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

SUNRISE — After struggling to find confidence early in the season, Anton Lundell has undoubtedly found his stride.

The 22-year-old has four goals and six points in seven games in April — including another highlight tally against Buffalo on Saturday — leading into his third postseason with the Florida Panthers.

“It feels like I’ve been having chances to all year,” Lundell told FHN. “But sometimes you have harder times when it feels like nothing is going in but you just need to stay with it and keep working hard.

“We’re all excited. The playoffs are coming and we remember last year very well so we want to be ready when it starts and we just have to try to push each other and ourselves even more.”

Since last year, Lundell has elevated his game down the stretch when the games get tighter and playoff time rolls around.

As a 21-year-old during Florida’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, he had two goals and 10 points in 21 games.

That included starting a Florida rally from a two-goal deficit in Game 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, which resulted in a 3-2 win in Round 2.

Florida coach Paul Maurice referred to it as one of the biggest in the playoff run, a goal that helped them take a 2-0 series lead back to Florida in their eventual five-game series win.

“It’s been huge,” Lundell said. “I learned a lot from last year. Like it’s not a short run. It’s a long run. One series is long, it’s two weeks and it’s a battle, so you need to stay with it and I feel like the team and the players are willing to stay with it.

“Last year was pretty tough. New system, new game plan, but I was able to adjust to it and at the end of the season I was at my best. And I am going through similar things right now.”

That battle has been something Lundell has had to learn to work through this year.

With his entry-level contract ending in the offseason, Lundell will be a restricted free agent for the first time in his career.

“Some of it is offensive belief, and I also think with Lundy in his contract year, there’s more pressure on him early to get off to that offensive start,” Maurice said.

“When that doesn’t happen, the player has a tendency to lose a little confidence. I think that has happened with Lundell and he’s bounced back.”

Finding that mental balance has been a battle at times, but when the games matter the most, Lundell always seems to find another gear.

“I am trying to prove myself when the big games start,” Lundell said. “I want to step up, and in the last multiple games, we’ve been doing very well from our line. We just need to keep going.

”But of course, sometimes, you feel like nothing is going in and you might try to do even more when the answer is doing a little less, so it’s a learning process for sure. I’m just trying to do everything I can to help the team win and when the team wins, I’m happy as well. But it’s another thing to push yourself and be the key player who helps with producing as well.”

Lundell’s confidence has shown even beyond the numbers.

He has enough of it to try and pull his signature shot from the goal line twice.

The first time he did so was in overtime.

“It’s a shot I’ve been trying to practice for a long time since I was younger,” Lundell said after the 3-2 overtime win.

“I’ve had a couple goals from there here and there, but not too much. It’s a small angle. But when I got the puck, I saw the goalie was playing forward and I just tried to pick the corner.”

He has also scored a couple of big shootout goals, contributed heavily on the forecheck, and brought the same defensive and penalty-killing abilities he has had since he first stepped on NHL ice as a 20-year-old three years ago.

“I’ve tried to talk to him a lot about not getting too cute and letting the game come to him,” linemate Evan Rodrigues said. “When you are holding your stick a little too tight and trying to create offense, maybe jumping on the offensive side of pucks and stuff like that, that’s when the game kind of comes at you in waves.

“When you play the right way, you stay under pucks and you do the right things, then you find yourself getting odd-man rushes and I think he’s done a really good job of flipping that switch and focusing on the defensive side of the puck first, letting the game come to him and when he gets the puck in the o-zone, then you can let your skill, your creativity and your smarts take over. I think that’s the biggest change in his game.”

By honing in on the details away from scoring, the points have started to come for Lundell.

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about helping the team that way,” Lundell said. Obviously, I think sometimes it doesn’t come, but when it does, it comes a lot. You get many in a short time, so I guess that’s the switch.

”You keep working harder. I know I have everything to be a great player, but sometimes it’s not going your way and you just need to stay with it and believe that something is going to come and then you’re ready to keep on cruising.”

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:



  • When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: ESPN/ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • This Season (Leafs Lead 2-1) — At Florida: Panthers 3, Leafs 1 (Oct. 19); Tuesday. At Toronto: Leafs 2, Panthers 1 (Nov. 28); Leafs 6, Panthers 4 (April 1).
  • Last Season: Toronto won Regular Season Series 3-1; Florida won Eastern Conference Semifinals 4-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Toronto leads 50-37-7, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: GAME 1, Eastern Conference Quarterfinals; TBA

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