Panthers Rebound In A Big Way Over Pittsburgh

What a difference a day can make in the life of a National Hockey League club. Thursday night, the Florida Panthers were humbled by the Tampa Bay Lightning to extend their losing streak to three games. Things didn’t get to look any easier as the rested 3-0 Pittsburgh Penguins were waiting in Sunrise for the Panthers home opener. Thankfully for the home folks, the Cats were able to keep within in the theme of celebration and posted a 6-3 win.
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Video: Re-Live Aleksander Barkov’s Big Night Against The Penguins

After having gone without a goal since opening night against the Dallas Stars, Panthers’ highly touted rookie Aleksander Barkov proved once again on Friday night why he was selected 2nd overall in last year’s entry draft. Coming off a grueling four-game road trip in which they were only able to earn 2 points in the standings, Barkov and the rest of the Panthers’ offense finally found their groove against the Pittsburgh Penguins who were clearly suffering without the services of starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. By the end of the night, the Panthers had lit up Penguins’ backup netminder Jeff Zatkoff for six goals - three of which involved Barkov - and coasted to victory in front of a raucous opening night crowd at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. In total, Barkov earned 3 points (1G-2A-3P) in the Panthers’ 6-3 victory over the visiting Penguins while consistently showing off both his puck movement and protection abilities.

Although Barkov may not currently have the kind of hype that forwards like Sean Monahan or Tomas Hertl have built up early on this season, it’s performances like tonight that will keep hopes high both for the Panthers’ long-term future as well Barkov’s Calder Trophy hopes this season.

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