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Stoned: Minnesota Wild 2, Florida Panthers 0

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The Florida Panthers had not started a season 0-1 since 2019, but thanks to Minnesota Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson, here they are.

Gustavsson held the Panthers at bay throughout on Thursday night, stopping 41 shots in lifting Minnesota to a 2-0 opening-night win over the Panthers.

The Panthers outshot Minnesota in each of the three periods and 41-21 — but could not solve Gustavsson.

Florida also out-attempted Minnesota 83-39 in the game.

Florida was leading 10-2 in shots when Brock Faber threw up a long shot from inside the blue line which beat a screened Sergei Bobrovsky 7:54 into the game.

The Panthers had one chance after another with rookie Mackie Samoskevich looking exceptionally sharp in his NHL debut only Gustavsson was not giving an inch.

Florida was able to bring out its new-look power play a couple of times but did not generate a whole lot in its first two chances but did throw everything they had on No. 3.

Still, an 0-fer with the man advantage on three kicks at it.

The Wild extended its lead in the second on a 4-on-3 chance when Joel Eriksson Ek pulled down a rebound in front of the net and jammed it past the Florida goalie.

Minnesota appeared to put an early end to this one two minutes later on a goal from Marco Rossi, but the Panthers called for the video review for offside — and it was a quick call from the officials.

For the Panthers, who had nine players in the lineup who were not with the team last season, there did not seem to be a problem with cohesiveness.

That is a good thing.

They simply could not get anything past the young Minnesota goalie. Games like this happen.

Florida will be in Winnipeg on Friday with Game No. 2 on Saturday afternoon against the Jets.

Matthew Tkachuk ended the night with nine shots on goal and 14 shot attempts.

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Wild 1, Panthers 0 (7:54, 1st): Brock Faber gets his first NHL goal in his third game after firing a shot from just inside the blue. The puck hit the post and went off Sergei Bobrovsky. Minnesota was being outshot 10-2 at the time.
  • Wild 2, Panthers 0 (12:56, 2nd): Joel Eriksson Ek scored from in front of the net on a 4-on-3 power play chance.

GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Filip Gustavsson, Minnesota (41 saves)

2. Joel Eriksson Ek, Minnesota (goal, assist)

3. Mackie Samoskevich, Florida (6 shot attempts, NHL debut)

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WINNIPEG JETS

  • When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Canada Life Center, Winnipeg
  • TV: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WAXY 790-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • This season: Florida @ Winnipeg, Saturday; Winnipeg @ Florida, Nov. 24
  • Last season: Winnipeg won 2-0
  • All-time regular season series: Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets lead 52-31-8, 5 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday at New Jersey Devils, 7 (BSF, 560-AM)

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