PREVIEW: New Panthers ‘excited to get a taste’ of Battle of Florida

SUNRISE, Fla. – There’s no higher manner to ramp up for the steady season than a competition recreation.

With the preseason beginning to wind down, the Florida Panthers will likely be taking a look to make some ultimate changes once they host the cross-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning at FLA Live Arena on Thursday.

After that, the 2 groups will shut out the preseason with a rematch at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

“It’s a good way to test where you’re at moving toward that starting night,” Panthers head trainer Paul Maurice mentioned of the 2 video games following Wednesday’s follow on the Panthers IceDen. “Because of the rivalry, and usually those rivalries are fairly close, both teams get to come in rested and go hard.”

While the Panthers are aiming to deploy a veteran-laden lineup in opposition to the Lightning, accidents have opened the door for a few possibilities and avid gamers at the bubble to make their mark. On Wednesday, Ryan Lomberg, Sam Bennett, Nick Cousins, Patric Hornqvist and Matthew Tkachuk sat out follow.

Additionally, Carter Verhaeghe and Colin White returned to follow carrying yellow no-contact jerseys.

“Anybody veteran that’s healthy will play in our games,” mentioned Maurice, who famous that none of the wounds had been overly severe. “We’re just being really cautious with the guys that are nicked up a bit.”

Sitting at 1-3-0 within the preseason, the Panthers are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday. In that recreation – which featured only a few veterans for the Panthers – Rudolfs Balcers, Lomberg and Zac Dalpe scored for Florida, whilst Spencer Knight made 43 saves in web.

For offseason additions like Balcers, this will likely be their first style of the Battle of Florida.

“Coach said that we should look at the next two games as regular-season games,” Balcers mentioned. “They’ll probably have pretty much all of their guys, and we’ll have our guys. Just try to get the systems in and get ready. They’re a great team. I’ve played against them before, and they’re one of the best teams in the league. I’m sure there’s some heat out there on the ice between our two clubs, so it’ll be fun.”

Still in search of their first win of the preseason, the Lightning fell to 0-3-0 following a 7-1 loss to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Sept. 30. Losing the particular groups struggle, the Lightning went 0-for-6 at the energy play, whilst the Predators went 3-for-6 to cruise to victory on house ice.

Aleksander Barkov and Eetu Luostarinen are tied for first at the Panthers in scoring with 3 issues each and every throughout the preseason, whilst 4 avid gamers are tied for first at the Lightning with one level each and every.

Over 4 regular-season matchups in 2021-22, the Panthers went 2-1-1 in opposition to the Lightning. In the ones video games, Anton Lundell, Sam Reinhart and Barkov each and every recorded two objectives and 3 assists for Florida. After successful a playoff collection for the primary time since 1996, the Panthers had been swept out of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs through the Lightning — who additionally eradicated them in 2021 — in the second one spherical.

Even with new faces on either side, this matchup at all times lives up to the billing.

“They’re a great hockey team and the rivalry is long running,” mentioned Marc Staal, who joined Florida on a one-year deal this summer season. “I’m excited to get a taste of that. It always makes games throughout the season more exciting when you run into a rival. It’s two great teams, and it should be a lot of fun.”


All price ticket gross sales proceeds from Thursday’s recreation will receive advantages Hurricane Ian reduction efforts.

Fans are inspired to drop off donations comparable to water, nonperishable meals pieces, blankets, pillows and air mattresses to the JetBlue Tarmac prior to access. All pieces accrued during the Panthers provide power will likely be donated to Hurricane reduction throughout Florida.

The Florida Panthers Foundation’s blended 50/50 raffle will even receive advantages Hurricane Ian reduction. Fans should purchase 50/50 raffle tickets on-line through visiting


“I think that’s a great test for us. It’s going to be fun playing against them again. We try to take it day to day here. We put a lot of work in during practice and we don’t want to look too far ahead, but the season’s coming up.” – Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling on going through the Lightning.

“I’ve gotten older and more mature. My game’s more mature. I think I’ve learned more on the defense side with PK and stuff like that. I think I’ve become more of an all-around player than I was before.” – Lightning ahead Vladislav Namestnikov on starting his 2nd excursion of responsibility with Tampa Bay.


Forwards: Eric Staal, Sam Reinhart, Anton Lundell, Aleksander Barkov, Aleksi Heponiemi, Zac Dalpe, Justin Sourdif, Eetu Luostarinen, Rudolfs Balcers, Chris Tierney, Logan Hutsko

Defensemen: Aaron Ekblad, Radko Gudas, Marc Staal, Lucas Carlsson, Gustav Forsling, Brandon Montour

Goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovsky, Alex Lyon


Forwards: Corey Perry, Pat Maroon, Alex Killorn, Nick Paul, Brayden Point, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Brandon Hagel, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Cole Koepke, Ross Colton, Gabriel Fortier, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Steven Stamkos

Defensemen: Philippe Myers, Haydn Fleury, Ian Cole, Nick Perbix, Cal Foote, Victor Hedman, Erik Cernak, Mikhail Sergachev

Goaltenders: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Brian Elliott


When: Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: FLA Live Arena – Sunrise, FL


Radio: N/A

NHL Game Center: HERE

Tickets: HERE

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