Meet Me In St. Louis. Game Day Preview: Panthers vs. Blues

FLORIDA PANTHERS: 1-0-0 (2 PTS) vs. St. Louis Blues: 1-0-0 (2 PTS)


Tonight the Florida Panthers will faceoff against the folded arms of coach Ken Hitchcock and the St. Louis Blues, as the Cats look for their first 2-0-0 start in eight seasons.  The Panthers fresh off a 4-2 opening night win against the Dallas Stars were led by the solid and acrobatic goaltending of veteran Tim Thomas, a strong penalty kill, and team resiliency.  The Panthers effort in Dallas was impressive especially during the opening 10 minutes when the Stars seemed to have the ice tilted in their favor, and at one point were outshooting the Panthers 7-2.  Florida found a way to reverse the play in their favor after surrendering a 1-0 lead, and fought back with three goals in the third period, two of them by Marcel Goc.  Sandwiched between the goals by Goc was the first NHL goal by rookie center Aleksander Barkov.

The unique thing about the Barkov goal is that after winning the faceoff, he went directly to the net.  Dallas tried to outmuscle the 18 year old, but to no avail,  his poise and concentration allowed him to get the game tying goal.  Panther fans can look forward to more goals like that from Barkov.  The Panthers need some strong net presence which has been sorely missing over the past few seasons.  Barkov looks as though he can supply that.  There were other good moments in the opening game for the Panthers, but lets get one thing straight right now.  St. Louis will be an even tougher test for Florida.

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