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Florida Panthers Pregame: Ducks, Zegras Show come to town

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Ducks forward Trevor Zegras performs a lacrosse style goal around teammate Sonny Milano. / Photo courtesy Bally Sports

SUNRISE — Florida Panthers fans are in for a whole new experience on Tuesday night.

The Anaheim Ducks, spearheaded by young forwards Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry, have been scoring highlight-reel goals all season.

From the lacrosse-style “Michigan” goal to an alley-oop pass Zegras sent Sonny Milano, they have garnered quite a bit of attention.

In some cases, it has been negative.

After Zegras pulled off the “Michigan” goal against the Arizona Coyotes, veteran forward Jay Beagle started targeting Anaheim’s young forwards, sending a post-whistle, cross-check with his team down 5-0.

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In the aftermath that ensued, Beagle went after Terry and punched the unwilling combatant in the face multiple times, leaving him with a pretty nasty black eye.

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Coyotes announcer Tyson Nash seemed to agree with Beagle’s actions saying: “That’s the problem with these young players. You wanna embarrass guys? You wanna skill it up? You better be prepared to get punched in the mouth.”

While Panthers forward Mason Marchment echoed that sentiment, he still maintained that it has a place in the game.

“I definitely wouldn’t like it if someone did it on me,” Panthers forward Mason Marchment said. “I would probably try to take him out or something.

“It’s a pretty special play and there are a bunch of guys that have been trying it, so I will probably keep it in the bag for another game.”

The mentality of going after skilled players has been a heavily debated topic that has been engrained in the old-school hockey mentality.

It has received a lot of attention lately.

Panthers coach Andrew Brunette is not a part of that old-school camp.

“We couldn’t do it back then,” the 16-year NHL veteran turned coach joked.

“I love skill, it’s fun to see. These kids coming up now are so exceptionally skilled and I think we’ve gotten ourselves at a time in the game where it’s more acceptable and it just makes it better.”

To his point, the fun surrounding skilled goals like the “Michigan” have been very evident at Panthers practices from time to time.

Last month, Derek MacKenzie’s kids attended practice and were helping Panthers captain Sasha Barkov learn the lacrosse style goal.

“Kids love it,” Brunette said. “They work on it more than other things and it needs to be toned down a little bit, but it’s fun to watch and it’s great for hockey.”

Marchment was among those who were trying to learn it with the kids, although he said that it did not go so well for him when he tried it.

Despite not wanting to be on the ice when the opponent scores a goal like that, he still has an appreciation for it.

“It’s cool when guys have it in their heads that they know they’re going to do it and then they do it,” Marchment said.

“When they finish it, it’s one hell of a goal.”

Morning Skate Updates

  • Sergei Bobrovsky will be Florida’s starting goaltender for Tuesday’s game against Anaheim.
  • Ryan Lomberg is taking a maintenance day and will be out of the lineup; Maxim Mamin will slot in on the fourth line.
  • Noel Acciari has yet to join the main group in practice, he is still nursing an injury. Brunette said that he hopes to get him back in practice sometime this week.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

ANAHEIM DUCKS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
  • Draft Kings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-450); Puck line (-1.5, -165); Over/Under 6.5 (-130/+110)
  • Last season: Did not play
  • All-time regular season series: Florida leads 19-14-2, 3 ties
  • Season Series — Florida leads 1-0: Florida 3, @Anaheim 0 (March 19)

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