The Florida Panthers will try and win their eighth consecutive game to start the 2021-22 season Friday night when they visit the Detroit Red Wings.
They will do so with a new — albeit temporary (perhaps) — head coach.
Brunette, 48, is a former NHL player who spent two seasons as an assistant coach as well as assistant general manager for the Minnesota Wild before joining Quenneville’s new staff in 2019.
He becomes the 17th head coach in team history and the fifth (Bryan Murray, Rick Dudley, Peter Horachek and Tom Rowe) who took over on an interim basis during a season.
With Quenneville in New York, the Panthers flew to Detroit without their coach.
Turns out, Brunette was with them the whole time.
With the team not practicing — and having things to deal with Thursday — it’s not known whether defenseman Kevin Connauton will be in the lineup.
Connauton left Wednesday’s win over the Boston Bruins in the third period after blocking a shot.
UPDATE FROM GOLDIE: Connauton is on the ice and working with Brandon Montour but Steve says Connauton is working with the scratches and Markus Nutivaara is off the ice. So he may be activated to play tonight.
The Red Wings are improved this season as they come into the game with wins in their past two games and holding second place in the Atlantic Division behind the unbeaten Panthers.
— Friday’s game is Florida’s first being exclusively broadcast on the subscription streaming ESPN+ and Hulu services. That means the Panthers’ usual broadcast team of Steve Goldstein and Randy Moller will have the night off.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT DETROIT RED WINGS
- WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
- WHERE: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
- TICKETS: CLICK HERE
- STREAMING ONLY: ESPN+ and Hulu
- RADIO: WQAM 560-AM
- 2021 regular season series: Florida won 6-2
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 29-19-6, 5 ties
- Odds via Bovada.lv: Florida (PL -1.5 +140) — (ML -175) — U/O 6
- Up next: Florida at Boston, Saturday, 7; Detroit at Toronto, Saturday, 7
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 9 Sam Bennett // 74 Owen Tippett
17 Mason Marchment // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 13 Sam Reinhart
77 Frank Vatrano // 19 Joe Thornton // 70 Patric Hornqvist
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
65 Markus Nutivaara // 62 Brandon Montour
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
30 Spencer Knight
Scratched: Ryan Lomberg, Chase Priskie, Kevin Connauton
Injured: Noel Acciari, Olli Juolevi, Anton Lundell
PROJECTED DETROIT RED WINGS LINEUP
59 Tyler Bertuzzi // 71 Dylan Larkin // 23 Lucas Raymond
14 Robby Fabbri // 24 Pius Suter // 11 Filip Zadina
92 Vladislav Namestnikov // 27 Michael Rasmussen // 73 Adam Erne
89 Sam Gagner // 22 Mitchell Stephens // 37 Carter Rowney
65 Dan Dekeyser // 53 Moritz Seider
2 Nick Leddy // 17 Filip Hronek
18 Marc Staal // 70 Troy Stecher
39 Alex Nedeljkovic
29 Thomas Greiss