Just like it was last season, the Florida Panthers once again not only opened their season with a victory, but also earned a big goal from their top-rookie. While it was Jonathan Huberdeau that got the scoring started during last season’s opener, it was 18-year-old Aleskander Barkov’s turn to make headlines for the Panthers as they kicked off the 2013-2014 season against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. Using his massive frame, Barkov was able to showoff his exceptional puck handling and protection throughout the majority night, constantly holding off wary Stars’ skaters.
While passing the eye test may have been enough to garner high marks in his debut, Barkov went above and beyond expectations when he tied the game at two during the third period after fending off traffic in front of the net long enough to sneak a puck past Stars’ goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Amazingly, Barkov’s 3rd period tally made him the youngest player to score a goal in the NHL’s post-expansion era (1967).
Barkov will look to earn his first career goal scoring streak when the Florida Panthers take on the St. Louis Blues this Saturday.
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