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FHN Today: Florida Panthers get deserved day off

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Good morning, Florida Panthers fans.

How was your Saturday?

Fantastic.

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.

Fun stuff.

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.

PANTHERLAND

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?

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— 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!

THUNDERDOME

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

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