Two nights after a Florida team mostly made up of prospects won a preseason game against a veteran Stars lineup, the tables were turned Friday night as the Panthers went with their NHL guys and the Dallas, well, did not.
It went kind of how we thought it would.
The Panthers, throwing most of their opening night lineup together for the first time this preseason, simply overwhelmed the Star-less Dallas roster. Florida jumped all over Dallas, scoring four goals on its first 13 shots of the first period en route to a 6-3 win at FLA Live Arena.
Sasha Barkov, who has been racking up the points this preseason as his contract extension talks continue, got the party started by firing off a 25-foot wrist shot to make it 1-0 less than two minutes into the game.
By the time MacKenzie Weegar scored with four minutes left in the period, the Panthers were rolling.
Florida scored three goals within a six-minute span of the first period against NHLer Anton Khudobin with Markus Nutivaara and Kevin Connauton getting the other two goals.
”Hey, the first shot goes in so things are really going well for us,” Joel Quenneville said. “We had a lot of possession time … a lot of positives out of tonight’s game.”
The Panthers finally gave up a goal early in the second period when Denis Gurianov scored on a power play — but Jonathan Huberdeau got that one back in the final seconds of the period to make it 5-1.
Sergei Bobrovsky gave way, as scheduled, to Christopher Gibson in the third and he ended up giving up two goals in his 20 minutes of work.
Sam Reinhart ended the scoring with an empty net goal at 18:49.
— The Panthers made a number of roster moves on Friday.
Zac Dalpe, Noah Juulsen and Sam Montembeault were all placed on waivers and, if they clear, will be sent to Florida’s AHL team in Charlotte.
A number of players currently on the Florida roster — such as Grigori Denisenko and Logan Hutsko, for instance — do not need to go through waivers to be assigned to Charlotte which is where they appear to be headed.
Quenneville confirmed Friday night that the Panthers’ practice group is now down to one team with a large number of cuts likely coming official Saturday.
GEORGE’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Sasha Barkov, Florida
2. MacKenzie Weegar, Florida
3. Sam Bennett, Florida