Good morning, Florida Panthers fans.
How was your Saturday?
The Panthers seemed to enjoy themselves yesterday with Jonathan Huberdeau posting a video on his Instagram of driving down A1A on a golf cart with Sam Bennett riding shotgun.
The Panthers get back to work this morning with a practice at the IceDen (they are still closed to the public) as they prepare to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Round 2.
Coach Andrew Brunette joked (?) a few times this season that watching the Lightning led to a lot of sleepless nights — so lets hope he got his rest in before the Lightning bested the Leafs in Game 7.
No word on the schedule for Round 2 yet. When I know, you’ll know.
The Panthers’ series win against the Capitals was a long time coming for a number of core players — including Huberdeau, Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad.
— Claude Giroux had himself another big game on Friday night.
— Ryan Lomberg has been called the ‘heartbeat’ of the Panthers and he had a big impact upon getting back in the lineup for Game 6.
— Friday night was fun, eh?
— Well, early on it wasn’t as Ekblad and Ben Chiarot briefly left following big hits.
— Carter Verhaeghe was a game-time decision for the Panthers on Friday. Good thing he played, huh?
— A lot of content on YouTube from Friday night including postgame with Huberdeau, Barkov, Giroux, Lomberg and Andrew Brunette is on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel.
My live pre- and postgame shows are also up.
Check it out — and if you like what you see on the YouTube page, please subscribe!
It was a big night for the Lightning in Toronto on Saturday night as Nick Paul scored twice and left the rest to Andrei Vasilevskiy as the Bolts pull out a 2-1 win.
— Brayden Point was hobbled early on Saturday night. He tried to come back but couldn’t go. This will be something to watch moving forward.
— Are curses real? Perhaps in Toronto.
— The Lightning took the first step in what they hope is a long postseason.
— Meet your Lightning beat writers on Twitter (in no order): @EddieInTheyard; @Erik_Erlendsson; @JoeSmith; @faiello_mari
END OF CAP CENTER
Alex Ovechkin dropped an F-bomb in his postgame press conference Friday night after losing to the Panthers in overtime.
Sounds like he wasn’t too happy.
— T.J. Oshie says the Caps have some reflecting to do as they had plenty of opportunities against the Panthers.
— Here is how Washington Hockey Now saw Game 6 unfold…
— The Washington Post writes the Caps’ postseason story is missed opportunities.
— We will catch up with the Capitals next season.
AROUND THE NHL
The Raleigh arena was rocking as Carolina kept this homer series going by ending the Boston Bruins season with a 3-2 win.
Did we see the final game by Brad Marchand?
— The Edmonton Oilers are on their way to the second round after surviving against the Kings.
— The Pittsburgh Penguins have no business winning Game 7 today against the Rangers but, hey.
— The Calgary Flames could not win Game 6 in Dallas so we’ll have a Game 7 at the Saddledome tonight.
— Bruce Boudreau is no longer the ‘interim’ coach of the Vancouver Canucks as he was named the permanent coach. Is Andrew Brunette next?
— Comparisons between the 2001 Colorado Avalanche and this current bunch, anyone?
— Five questions facing the Vegas Golden Knights this offseason.
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING
- Game 1: TBA
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: National TV TBA (ESPN or TNT/TBS)
- Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- Full schedule: TBA
PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING
- Regular season series — Tied 2-2: Florida 4, @Lightning 1 (Oct. 19); @Lightning 3, Florida 2 OT (Nov. 13); @Florida 9, Lightning 3 (Dec 30); Tampa Bay 8, @Florida 4 (April 24).
- All-time regular season series: Panthers lead 73-49-18, 10 ties
- Playoff history: Second meeting; Tampa Bay d. Florida 4-2 in R1, 2021
- Round 1 — Florida d. Washington 4-2 — Game 1: Washington 4, @Florida 2; Game 2: @Florida 5, Washington 1; Game 3: @Washington 6, Florida 1; Game 4: Florida 3, @Washington 2 (OT); Game 5: @Florida 5, Washington 3; Game 6: Florida 4, Washington 3 (OT).
- Round 1 — Tampa Bay d. Toronto 4-3