SUNRISE — When asked when his team would start working on the power play, Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice said prior to Wednesday’s preseason game at Carolina.
On Monday, the Panthers scored on their first two power play chances of the preseason off goals from William Lockwood and Eetu Luostarinen en route to a 5-0 win over the Nashville Predators in the opener of a day-night preseason doubleheader at the Arena.
Florida and Nashville will play a second game on Monday with the start time scheduled for 6 p.m.
Luostarinen ended up scoring a second power play goal on a 5-on-3 look late in the second to give the Panthers a three-goal cushion.
Rookie Mackie Samoskevich helped his bid to make the team by scoring early in the second and then, again, toward the end.
All told, the Panthers scored four of their five goals with the man-advantage as Nashville was hit with 10 penalties in the preseason opener.
Florida was charged with five penalties — including a roughing from Anton Lundell when he punched Kevin Gravel square in the face.
Maurice and the Panthers are certainly going to change things up on their special teams as the preseason rolls on, but at least on Monday, one can see how things could look once things start counting for real.
It was the second group which opened the scoring as former Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly teed off from the point with Lockwood deflecting it from in front.
As Maurice said last week, Oliver Ekman-Larsson ran this top power play unit (Sasha Barkov was with this group) with Gus Forsling running the second.
Ekman-Larsson ended up with three assists.
Regardless, Florida made it 2-0 moments after Lockwood’s goal when Luostarinen charged in and beat Nashville goalie Kevin Lankinen.
Spencer Knight was in net for the Panthers for the first time since leaving the team in February and was solid, going 29:15 and making 13 saves before giving way to Ludovic Waeber holding a 2-0 lead.
Waeber got himself a little run support when Luostarinen knocked in a rebound off a Barkov shot seconds into Nashville’s second penalty of the sequence.
GR’S 3 STARS OF GAME 1
1. Eetu Luostarinen, Florida (2 goals)
2. Mackie Samoskevich, Florida (2 goals, assist)
3. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Florida (3 assists)
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
PRESEASON AT CAROLINA HURRICANES
- When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: PNC Bank Arena, Raleigh
- TV/Radio: None
- Streaming: FloridaPanthers.com
LOOKING AHEAD FOR THE PANTHERS
- Friday: Preseason vs. Carolina, 6 p.m.
- Sunday: Preseason vs. Ottawa at Sydney, Nova Scotia; 4 p.m.
- Oct. 3: Preseason vs. Tampa Bay at Orlando Arena, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 5: Preseason at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 7: Preseason vs. Tampa Bay, 6 p.m.
- Oct. 12: Start of 2023-24 Regular Season at Minnesota Wild (BSF)
- Oct. 19: 2023-24 Home Opener vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (BSF)