The Florida Panthers added a new name to the top of their franchise record book Thursday night as Aaron Ekblad joined longtime teammates Jonathan Huberdeau and Sasha Barkov with an important milestone.
Ekblad, now in his eighth season with the Panthers, became the team’s all-time leading scoring defenseman as he assisted on all three Florida goals in a 5-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Although he would have liked the record to come in a victory — but it still a nice feat.
“It has been a fun ride so far,” said Ekblad, who has 291 points which passed Robert Svehla (1994-2002).
Huberdeau, Barkov and Ekblad are now taking over the Florida record book — as the franchise has hoped they would.
Huberdeau is the team’s all-time leader in points and assists — and after tonight’s game against the Ducks, is one shy of tying Stephen Weiss for the franchise record in games played. He is also four points back of Barkov (96) for the most points in a single season.
Barkov is Florida’s all-time leader in goals scored and now Ekblad is the team’s highest-scoring defenseman.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere near that without my teammates,” Ekblad said. “As much as this is a individual accomplishment, it is a team accomplishment. I am just happy I get to play with the guys I get to play with on a nightly basis.”
On Thursday night, Patric Hornqvist left the game after the second period following a hit.
Brunette said he would be OK but sore; he will not play against the Ducks.
The Panthers did not make any call-ups for Friday night although one was expected to try and give Joe Thornton a night off.
Thornton only played 9:35 on 15 shifts on Thursday night and he will play.
With no one coming in from Charlotte, Brunette said Florida would play Lucas Carlsson tonight as the team rolls 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
— Spencer Knight will start his fourth consecutive game for the Panthers as Brunette says Sergei Bobrovsky has been dealing with some sort of illness and will have missed all four games on this trip.
”We were hoping to get him going yesterday and he kind of wasn’t feeling great,’’ Brunette said of Bobrovsky. “Wasn’t feeling great again today. It’s nothing long term, I am sure he’ll be ready to go next week. It’s precautionary. Just want to make sure he’s 100 percent.”
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT ANAHEIM DUCKS
- When: Friday, 10 p.m.
- Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- Draft Kings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-205); Puck line (-1.5, +110); Over/Under 6.5 (-110/-110)
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 18-14-2, 3 ties
- Season Series: First meeting
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 98 Maxim Mamin
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 9 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair
17 Mason Marchment // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 13 Sam Reinhart
19 Joe Thornton // 55 Noel Acciari
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
40 Petteri Lindbohm // 62 Brandon Montour
32 Lucas Carlsson
30 Spencer Knight
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Scratched: Ben Chiarot, Patric Hornqvist
Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Ryan Lomberg (IR), Jonas Johansson (IR), Anton Lundell (LBI)
Traded: Frank Vatrano (NYR)
PROJECTED ANAHEIM DUCKS LINEUP
12 Sonny Milano // 46 Trevor Zegras // 28 Vinni Lettieri
4 Maxime Comtois // 14 Adam Henrique // 19 Troy Terry
38 Derek Grant // 21 Isac Lundestrom // 55 Daniel O’Regan
20 Nicolas Deslauriers // 39 Sam Carrick // 53 Buddy Robinson
4 Cam Fowler // 92 Andrej Sustr
22 Kevin Shattenkirk // 34 Jamie Drysdale
76 Josh Mahura // 86 Simon Benoit
36 John Gibson
41 Anthony Stolarz
Anaheim Ducks lines courtesy DailyFaceoff.com