Wednesday night’s preseason clash between the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes was a Battle of the Brind’Amours as son, Skyler, made his NHL preseason debut against dad, Rod, coach of the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes swarmed a Panthers squad filled to the brim with rookies with three goals in the first five minutes of the third period to run off with a 4-1 victory.
Spencer Knight did all he could, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the first two periods, but a Carolina onslaught started by an untimely penalty early in the third was more than he could handle.
Gerry Mayhew gave the Panthers the lead with 6:51 to go in the first period, jamming in a shot off of a Hurricanes defenseman 12 seconds into Florida’s first man advantage of the game.
That was all Florida was able to muster up in the first two frames.
Knight made save after save, including 11 in the first 12 minutes of the game, to keep the Panthers on top.
Then Florida’s inexperienced defense got worn down.
Grigori Denisenko took a penalty early 54 seconds into the third period to give Carolina’s big buns a fourth opportunity on the power play.
That was the moment Florida’s defense crumbled.
The Hurricanes diced through the Panthers penalty kill within seconds, with Stefan Noesen finishing off a tic-tac-toe play from Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a tap-in 13 seconds into the man advantage to tie the game.
Ryan Suzuki gave Carolina the lead with 3:43 to go after wrapping around the Florida crease and firing off a wrist shot that slipped just between Knight’s shoulder and the crossbar.
Just over 30 seconds later, Michael Bunting forced a neutral zone turnover and fed Brady Skjei a one-timer that he blasted past Knight to pad Carolina’s lead to two goals apiece.
Bunting capped things off with an empty-netter with 1:39 to go.
Knight played the full game after leaving his preseason debut after 29:15, finishing the day with 28 saves on 31 shots.
COLBY’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1. Michael Bunting, Carolina
2. Yaniv Perets, Carolina
3. Ryan Suzuki, Carolina
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
PRESEASON VS CAROLINA HURRICANES
- When: Friday, 6 p.m.
- Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Radio: None
- Streaming: FloridaPanthers.com
LOOKING AHEAD FOR THE PANTHERS
- Sunday: Preseason vs. Ottawa at Sydney, Nova Scotia; 4 p.m. (NHLN)
- 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)