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Vladimir Tarasenko Made Good Impression in Florida Panthers Debut



Vladimir Tarasenko warms up before playing in his first game with the Florida Panthers on Thursday night in Sunrise. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

SUNRISE — Vladimir Tarasenko may not have hit the scoresheet in his Florida Panthers debut but he still made a good first impression.

Tarasenko blocked a shot, took two shots on goal, and threw two hits as he made big plays in the defensive zone and generated a few scoring chances.

While it was not enough to put the Panthers over the top in what ended up being a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, it was a good start for Tarasenko.

He took his first steps in learning a Florida system which is drastically different to the one he left behind with the Ottawa Senators.

“I liked the small things that he did that are non-skill related,” coach Paul Maurice said. “The skill is there, we’re not worried about any of that, but he blocked some shots, and picked up the reads very, very quickly with a whole bunch of new systems. I thought he made some good small area plays.

“There wasn’t a lot of offense to be had for either team but they had a big chunk of it there. Anything that we had going in the first was theirs, so it was a good starting point.”

Tarasenko showcased the hockey sense many around the team talked about when he was brought in via trade on Wednesday when he got stuck playing out-of-positon following a 4-on-4.

With Matthew Tkachuk re-joining the play following a penalty and Carter Verhaeghe manning the left flank, Tarasenko had to slide into the center spot when he and the Panthers got pinned in their own defensive zone.

He got into position, blocked a shot, and made a big defensive effort in the slot where he almost never had to play throughout his 13-year NHL career.

“He is very, very in tune of picking up off other players and playing off position if he needs to,” Maurice said. “Each shift he can come in and play both sides of the ice. That part, he is exceptional in.”



  • When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • This Season (Flames Lead 1-0) — At Calgary: Flames 3, Panthers 1 (Dec. 18). At Florida: Saturday.
  • Last Season: Calgary Won 2-0
  • All-Time Regular Season Series: Calgary leads 25-11-3, 3 ties

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