After dropping three straight, the Florida Panthers are back at home looking to get back on track with a win against the Nashville Predators.
The Florida Panthers came flying out of the gates early on, with Nashville matching their intensity. With both teams playing it tight at their respective blue lines, the puck was mostly battled for in the neutral zone.
Evgenii Dadonov, who was working the puck down low, was tripped and the Panthers were heading to the game’s first power play. Unfortunately, the Cats couldn’t make anything of the opportunity as the Predators killed it off with ease.
Right after, Vincent Trocheck committed an unnecessary slash, handing the Preds their first power play of the game. Their closest chance came when Filip Forsberg rang a shot off the goal post, but the Panthers were able to kill it off smoothly after that attempt.
Both teams exchanged chances in either end throughout the remainder of the period, but both Chris Driedger – who was making his Florida Panthers debut – and Juuse Saros stood tall to keep the game scoreless.
With a few minutes remaining in the first, Dan Hamhuis viciously slashed Frank Vatrano, propping Florida to their second man advantage. The Panthers created some good looks from the opportunity but were unable to bury one past Saros.
Both the Panthers and the Preds headed straight to the dressing room tied at zero after twenty minutes of play.
In the first couple of minutes to start the second, the Panthers found the first goal of the game. After a looser rebound was kicked out by Saros, Anton Stralman jumped on it and wristed it home to record his first as a member of the Florida Panthers.
Moments after the goal, Dan Hamhuis flipped the puck out of play and the Panthers were heading to their third man advantage. Unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize, going 0/3 in their first three attempts.
Both Anton Stralman and MacKenzie Weegar took penalties back to back, sending the Predators to a 30-second 5-on-3. Impressively, though, the Panthers’ PK unit killed off both with ease, preserving their one-goal lead.
Before the period concluded, the Panthers came close to doubling their lead after Aleksander Barkov and Mike Hoffman connected near Saros’ crease. Barkov slid a pass to Hoffman, who fired a shot which was denied by the pad of Saros.
After forty minutes of play, the Panthers went straight to the locker room with a 1-0 lead in their hands.
The Panthers would go on to win by a final score of 3-0, with goaltender Chris Driedger recording his first career NHL shutout (and win) in his first game with the Cats.
Overall, this was the Panthers’ best game of the season as the defense played stellarly, Driedger did his part by putting aside any shots that came his way, while the offense put three by Saros to make it a perfect night.
Your Panthers are back in action on Tuesday, December. 3 @ 7 P.M. against the Minnesota Wild at the BB&T Center.