#1 January 19th: Vegas Golden Knights
After this one-week break ends, the Panthers will host the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time in history. This isn’t the expansion team we thought it would be, this is an expansion team that exploded out of the gates, and despite no clear star, five different goalies, and Vadim Shipachyov heading back to Russia, hasn’t looked back.
The Knights lead the Western Conference with 60 points and legitimately labelled themselves as a Stanley Cup contender. Not only will this be a difficult test for the Panthers, but three former Cats will return to the BB&T Center for the first time: forwards Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, and former head coach, Gerard Gallant. This will be an emotional game for sure, and with the week off, the team should be prepared to take on one of the league’s best.