Panthers Preseason, Game One: Cats shut down Hurricanes 4-1

Bear with me, kids...haven't written up a game since early April. Call it a Curve of Rediscovery, or some other such nonsense.

Florida netminder Scott Clemmensen allowed one goal while Jacob Markstrom kept the plate clean in relief as a primarily rookie Panthers squad rolled over an equally untested - relatively speaking - Hurricanes bunch 4-1 in Raleigh Tuesday night, despite being outshot 34-24; old habits and all...

The first three goals came against veteran 'Canes goaltender Cam Ward. Says a little something about Carolina's defense of the future, but enough with wishful thinking.

Erik Gudbranson, Michael Santorelli, Scott Timmins, and Nathan Paetsch scored for the visitors, allowing only a single goal (shorthanded) by Carolina's Anton Babchuk in a game which, honestly, was difficult to judge pace-wise with a rickety-but-thankfully-available internal feed from the Canes' RBC Center. Love-'em-or-hate-'em, even this jaded Whalers fan will be first to line up in defense of what's become a first-rate organization; they didn't need to stream the game.

2010 first-rounder Jeff Skinner, signed by CAR only hours ago to an entry-level deal, finished with no points. But make no mistake: he was buzzing in his 17:31 TOI. G Justin Pogge gave up the final FLA goal in front of an announced crowd just short of 6,000. Got to be a hardened Hartford hockey fan to appreciate that number.

That said, it's a ridiculous proposition to claim I watched it at length; instead we'll turn that over to the NHL's official box score, the Miami Herald's OFP, and Sun-Sentinel for the on-site stuff, as well as SB Nation sister ship Canes Country for a home club perspective.

Quick thoughts: heard a lot of Rostislav Olesz's name (18:59 TOI, tops among forwards), as well as Evgeni Dadonov (2a). Markstrom was a human elasticman, covering every inch of net with not only sheer size but wild athleticism when the team before him began to slack. Tyler Arnason and Shawn Matthias (3sog) saw a reasonable share of icetime at center, as did the pairing of Gudbranson (1g, 1a) and Jason Garrison (1a). Far from being overlooked, defenseman Joe Callahan registered two assists. We'll have a few pictures from inside the building posted up tomorrow.

Had a terrific time chatting it up at OFP, and big thanks to GR for hosting; we'll do much the same Thursday as the Panthers take on Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell, and the Bahston Bruins from Rochester's Blue Cross Arena. No sidebar stories to highlight on that one, right Mr. Wideman?

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