Spencer Knight played in his first regular season game since leaving the Florida Panthers due to struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) — and he held his own.
The 22-year-old stopped 25 of 27 shots as the Charlotte Checkers dropped their season opener 4-2 to the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Knight made a handful of big saves for the Checkers, including a blocker save on a breakaway attempt from former Panthers teammate Colin White late in the second period.
He stopped the first 18 shots he faced through two scoreless periods before Austin Rueschoff and Jonathan Gruden got the best of him in the first there minutes of the third.
“You ask your goalie to keep you in the game. A 0-0 hockey game going into the third, we had a couple of mistakes that end up in the back of the net,” Checkers head coach Geordie Kinnear told CharlotteCheckers.com.
“I thought for the first game in a while that he was really solid for us.”
Will Lockwood brought Charlotte back within one just 14 seconds after Wilkes Barre/Scranton’s second goal but it was not enough.
The Penguins netted two empty-net goals before Ryan McAllister scored with eight seconds to go.
But overall, the Panthers had to like what they saw from Knight.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WINNIPEG JETS
- When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
- Where: Canada Life Center, Winnipeg
- TV: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- This season: Florida @ Winnipeg, Saturday; Winnipeg @ Florida, Nov. 24
- Last season: Winnipeg won 2-0
- All-time regular season series: Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets lead 52-31-8, 5 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at New Jersey Devils, 7 (BSF, 560-AM)