The Florida Panthers opened their 2022-23 season with a dogfight on Thursday night, needing some big saves from Sergei Bobrovsky and key goals from others — including Matthew Tkachuk — as they beat the New York Islanders 3-1.
Bobrovsky was solid from the start, the veteran goalie only giving up one goal on 32 shots faced — including all 16 in the opening period.
The two teams were tied at 1 in the third period when Patric Hornqvist matched New York’s goal by scoring on a wraparound 30 seconds later.
Tkachuk was in beastmode throughout the night but did not score until he put his 16th shot attempt into an empty net with 1:15 left.
The Panthers were not perfect on Thursday but they did a lot of good things.
We have the whole thing covered.
Check it out.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The New York Islanders are one of the top defensive teams in the NHL and they can wear teams down — only it was the Panthers doing the grinding on Thursday night in a 3-1 win.
— Tkachuk had a big night in a very successful debut with his new team.
— Here is how NYI Hockey Now saw things from Belmont Park.
— It was a new era for both the Panthers and Islanders as they started new seasons with new head coaches behind the bench.
— The Panthers came into the season wanting to change how they play defensive hockey although coach Paul Maurice does not want to hold them back.
— Check out the FHN YouTube channel RIGHT HERE — and hear from Maurice, Tkachuk, Bobrovsky and Eetu Luostarinen following the game.
Colby’s first postgame video from Belmont is also up.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
On paper, it almost did not seem fair to see the Arizona Coyotes open up against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
And it was not.
— If you had to change places with someone right now, wouldn’t you want to be the agent for Boston Bruins starDavid Pastrnak?
— It was a near-perfect opener for the defending Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
— The Washington Capitals did not look too hot as Toronto bounces back from a tough loss in Montreal.
— Cole Caufield got off to a great start with the Montreal Canadiens.
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO SABRES
- When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
- Where: KeyBank Center; Buffalo, N.Y.
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM HD-2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Florida won 3-0
- All-time regular season series: Buffalo leads 52-46-5, 4 ties