The Florida Panthers will ice a very veteran-laden lineup in Tuesday’s exhibition game in Orlando against the Lightning. But when it comes to roster battles, rookie defensemen Matt Kiersted and Chase Priskie will get at least one more preseason look.
Florida are scheduled to give Brandon Montour and Kevin Connauton the night off.
Gus Forsling is out with a minor injury and is expected to return Saturday night.
Kiersted, 23, came to the Panthers as the most highly-sought after collegiate free agent last spring. The former North Dakota standout signed with the Panthers and almost immediately stepped into the lineup.
He played seven games last season but did not appear in the playoff series against the Lightning.
Although it appears the veteran Connauton currently holds the edge for Florida’s seventh defensive spot, Kiersted and Priskie both have impressed coaches this season and even if they don’t make the opening night roster, both would be expected to be the first positional callup when needed.
“These are meaningful games when it comes to me trying to be here and get a spot on the team,” Kiersted said. “I just want to show the staff that I can do it on a consistent basis.
“I learned from coming down last year, seeing the way the guys worked and what it takes to play at the NHL level. I took that to my summer workouts and I am trying to grow and become a more mature player.”
CONGRATS, BOB & CO.
Quenneville had said that Sergei Bobrovsky would start Tuesday’s game at Amway Center but things have taken a turn.
Bobrovsky and his wife Olga are expecting a daughter who is apparently on her way.
“It’s exciting,” Quenneville said. “It doesn’t get any better.”
Quenneville said Sergei would not join the team on this two-game trip to central Florida for obvious reasons.
Bobrovsky is now expected to start the exhibition finale Saturday night in Sunrise.
Spencer Knight is expected to start Tuesday.
— Aside from Montour, Connauton and Bobrovsky, here is who else is not expected to play Tuesday: Anton Lundell, Joe Thornton, Carter Verhaeghe, Patric Hornqvist and Maxim Mamin.
— Mamin, John Ludvig and Lucas Carlsson are not traveling with the team due to injury.
PRESEASON PANTHERS ON DECK
PANTHERS (4-0-0) V. TAMPA BAY (1-3-0) AT ORLANDO
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Amway Center, Orlando
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- 2021 regular season series: Florida won 5-3
- 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, Round 1: Tampa Bay won 4-2
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/Bally Sports