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FHN Daily: A Knight in shining armor for Florida Panthers

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Knight Florida Panthers
Florida Panthers rookie goalie Spencer Knight made 36 saves in Monday’s season-saving Game 5 win at BB&T Center. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

On Monday night after the Florida Panthers avoided elimination with a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, coach Joel Quenneville was asked whether goalie Spencer Knight would start in Game 6 on Wednesday.

The question was asked by Tim Reynolds even through we all knew the answer. Quenneville knew we all knew the answer.

Spencer Knight, the 20-year-old phenom in net, will start for the Panthers on Wednesday night.

Has the Panthers’ goalie carousel the postseason finally stopped?

The Panthers can only hope so.

Knight was fantastic, as you may have heard on Monday night. After giving up a goal on Tampa Bay’s first shot of the night (off a 2-on-1 due to botched defensive coverage), Knight settled in and stopped the Lightning’s next 36 offerings.

Once you let one in you kind of just reset and you’re like, ‘Alright, this is how it’s going to go, can’t do anything to change it so let’s just go play now,'” Knight said. “That’s how it was. It was a good goal by them, great play, but I just tried to recover. Just smile and have fun.”

The kid from Connecticut went from playing in the NCAA tournament with the Boston College Eagles — he was named the school’s male athlete of the year — to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

He got his first playoff game under his belt Monday night but Wednesday will be his first in enemy territory. Amalie Arena is going to be rocking for Game 6. Are the Panthers worried their goalie can handle that pressure?

“You don’t see any nervousness on him,’’ Sasha Barkov said. “He’s a special kid. You don’t see that often. He’s so young, he’s so confident, technically really good. I could be here until tomorrow if you want me to say everything about Spencer. He’s just great.”

The Panthers know they have the potential for a real mess when it comes to goaltending right now.

Since everyone is asking, here is what’s up with Sergei Bobrovsky’s contract: He has five years left for $50 million ($58.5 million in real money).

Because of the way the contract is designed, it would not make sense to buy it out — if that is what the team is thinking about, which they are not — for a few more years.

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For instance, Bobrovsky has a cap hit (average) of $10 million but, the Panthers agreed to pay him $12 million for the next three seasons. Half of that ($6 million) is in signing bonus which has to be paid out and cannot be bought out.

To buy out Bobrovsky this coming summer with five years and the majority of his contract both owed and not affected by the 2/3 buyout clause, it would save the Panthers a little cash and give the team a little cap relief — but not enough to have such a hole.

Florida would basically have a cap penalty of between $6-7 million for the next five years (without having the player) and $2 million for the following five.

Now, on to the FHN Daily!

PANTHERS LINKS

No links, but two Tampa Bay players got fined for their “antics” in Monday’s loss.

Ryan McDonagh got hit with the max $5,000 for cross-checking Mason Marchment in the face; Pat Maroon was fined $3,879.31 for jumping Noel Acciari in the faceoff circle following Frank Vatrano’s empty net goal.

How did it start?

— Steve Gorten says the Florida Panthers bet everything on their 20-year-old goalie and got paid off. Big time. (FHN)

— The Panthers were facing saying goodbye for the summer but they still have life. (FHN)

— 5 Takeaways on the Panthers win from Jameson. (Panthers)

— Spencer Knight was pretty good last night, right? (Miami Herald)

— Y’all hear about this Spencer Knight fella? (Sun-Sentinel)

— Seriously, though. Spencer Knight. (Palm Beach Post)

— Joel Quenneville is on with Joe Rose. He mentions Spencer Knight. (WQAM)

— So does Goldie. (WQAM)

AROUND THE NHL

The New York Islanders are headed back to Uniondale holding a 3-2 series lead on the Penguins. (NYI Hockey Now)

— Who wants to play the blame game? The Pens do. (PHN)

— The Avs are getting ready for the next round. (CHN)

— The Wild are headed home for game 6 after a crazy win in Vegas. (Star-Tribune)

— The Bruins are going to pack their barn. (BHN)

— Great Game 4 in Winnipeg last night. Poor Oilers. (Edmonton Journal)

LOCALS ONLY

The Miami Heat fell behind 8-0 in Game 2 at Milwaukee and things actually only got worse. The Heat need a bounceback down 0-2 coming home for Game 3 on Thursday. (Miami Herald)

— It’s a Marlins Podcast with Jordan McPherson. (MH)

— Yeah, the Marlins won last night. (MH)

— Stephen A. had some things to say. (Sentinel)

 

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