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Florida Panthers GameDay

Broadway Knights: Florida Panthers 4, Nashville Predators 1



Florida panthers

The Florida Panthers avoided the slow starts which have plagued them of late as they ended up playing a complete game in a defensive-slugfest Saturday night in Nashville.

The Panthers won their seventh consecutive game and took another step closer to both a divisional title and the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 win over the Predators.

Florida, which got two empty goals in the final minutes, has won 10 of its past 11 games.

The Panthers and Predators played a close game throughout, the Panthers taking the initial lead in the first period.

But it was 1-1 until late in the second when rookie Anton Lundell beat Jusse Saros with a nice goal for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Panthers, with 10 games remaining before the postseason, currently hold an eight-point lead on the Carolina Hurricanes for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

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By winning the East, Florida would insure itself home ice throughout the conference playoffs and a likely opening-round date with the Washington Capitals.

Florida opened up a 10-point lead in the Atlantic although that is probably temporary with the Maple Leafs playing host to the Canadiens.

Spencer Knight was back in net for the Panthers on Saturday and he earned top star of the game by allowing a first-period goal before slamming the door shut.

He ended the night with 24 saves as he won his fourth consecutive game.

Florida led 1-0 3:43 into the game when Carter Verhaeghe one-timed a nice feed from Brandon Montour.

The Preds, fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, tied the score two minutes later on a goal from Ryan Johansen off a backdoor pass from Filip Forsberg.

The score remained tied for about 30 minutes of hard-hitting and tight hockey.

Florida did not retake the lead until Lundell drove in and popped a shot top shelf on Saros at 15:16 of the second.

Nashville had numerous chances to either take the lead or tie the score as the game wore on but Knight was strong throughout.

One of his rare miscues came in the third when he came out of the net to clear a puck — only he threw it right onto the stick of Norris Trophy favorite Roman Josi.

Josi somehow missed the empty net as Knight scampered back in and Florida retained its 2-1 lead.

With 2:07 left, the Preds pulled Saros — and Jonathan Huberdeau ended things with 1:07 remaining.

Gus Forsling got Florida’s second empty net goal with 50 seconds left to play.


1. Spencer Knight, Florida

2. Anton Lundell, Florida

3. Sasha Barkov, Florida



  • When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
  • 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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