Game two of the preseason double header between the Florida Panthers and the Nashville Predators got off to a terrible start as Teemu Laasko of Nashville scored 59 seconds into the first period when he picked up a puck bobbled by an Panther defenceman who shall remain nameless. Shortly after that Ryan Thang made it two zip, and with less than five minutes gone, the Florida Panthers found themselves in a hole. The Cats had some chances in the first, and what appeared as a goal by Scottie Upshall who ripped a shot at Nashville goaltender Anders Lindback, (who made the intial save), was waived off as a goalmouth scrum must have hid the puck from the officials when the whistle blew before the disc crossed the line. The goal was quickly disallowed. Florida pressed a touch more and Eric Selleck (don’t know if he’s related to Tom) put Florida on the board.
With a glut of penalties in the second period, the Panthers Eric Gudbranson wrists a shot towards the net that Jonathan Huberdeau tips in that tied the game at 2, and things began to appear different. It was as if the Panthers found their legs, and then they also began using their bodies as big Nolan Yonkman was laying some solid hits on the Predators. However with just under four minutes to go in the middle frame, Blake Geoffrion put Nashville ahead as he wheeled and shot the puck past what appeared to be a surprised Scott Clemmensen giving Nashville the lead.
In the third Jonathan Huberdeau fed Mike Santorelli with a very sweet pass that Santorelli buried tying the game at three. Seconds later Tim Kennedy was credited with a goal during another scrum giving the Panthers the lead with just over 10 minutes left.
If there was one thing to see and be pleased with, it was that we have some players that can make things happen, not only on offence, but on defence as well. Scottie Upshall seemed to be everywhere, and the movement of the puck and slick passing of Brian Campbell is going to be fun to watch.
All in all a solid ending after a sluggish start. Jonathan Huberdeau was selected the number one star of the game. With his creative passing and playmaking, if the kid keeps this up, it will be very difficult to send him back to juniors.
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