The Florida Panthers split their first two games of the 2013-14 season. They won their season debut against the Stars 4-2 in Texas on Thursday night but lost 7-0 in St. Louis to the Blues on Saturday. The abysmal loss to the Blues makes it hard to pick our three stars of the week because very few Panthers could be said to have played well in the blowout. Thus our three stars will consist of players who impressed against Dallas and did not make us vomit against St. Louis. So Lets begin:
Third Star: Aleksander Barkov
Barkov has impressed in his first two games as a Florida Panther. On Thursday night he scored a pivotal third period goal to even the game up at 2-2. On the goal he displayed his size and strength, collecting a loose puck in the high slot with his back to the net and proceeding to hold off the defenders while he turned and fired the puck through traffic past Kari Lehtonen.
Barkov has been playing center on a line with Brad Boyes and Jonathan Huberdeau, and he has been playing with the same forwards as a part of Florida’s second power play unit. Barkov has impressed with his ability to jump right into the NHL at such a young age and he has the potential to form a deadly scoring trio with his fellow line mates. His goal in game one combined with no glaring errors in game two is enough to merit Barkov being the Panthers’ third star of the week.