Saturday Caterwaul: Panthers Open Forum & Game Thread

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 17: The Florida Panthers celebrate with goalie Scott Clemmensen #30 of the Florida Panthers after they won 4-3 against the New Jersey Devils in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The dreaded "locker cleanout" day is upon us; as such the Caterwauls will enter a bit of a scaled-down version since there is simply less actual Florida Panthers news to focus on from day-to-day until the NHL Awards - featuring nominations for D Brian Campbell (Lady Byng) & GM Dale Tallon (Executive of the Year) - and of course the 2012 Entry Draft from Pittsburgh soon after.

More after the jump...

Even before then we've got a lot to be stoked about: the San Antonio Rampage enter the second round of AHL Calder Cup action (think you know a lot?) vs Oklahoma City on Tuesday, and the IIHF World Hockey Championships get rolling next week as well (Marcel Goc and Tomas Kopecky have already committed to Germany and Slovakia, respectively). Oh, and we've heard a vile rumor that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still underway...

LBC has a bundle of new stories coming your way (Kevin kicked it off already with his excellent earlier recap of players) taking a look back at the season, where the Cats presently stand, and what is yet to come for the Southeast Division champions. Maybe a few other surprises, too. But fear not: the Caterwauls will soldier on. Once more: we sincerely thank you for your continued support of Litter Box Cats.

Friday's result

  • (3) Phoenix over (4) Nashville, 4-3 (OT): Long-ago former Cat Ray Whitney - he turns 40 on May 8 - nailed the winner with a backhander at 14:04 of the extra frame. Mike Smith stopped 39 shots, now 5-2 in 2012 postseason play; Yotes lead series 1-0. Local reaction from Five For Howling and On The Forecheck.

Today's NHL Playoff schedule

  • (7) Washington at (1) NY Rangers, 3 p.m. (NBC): Game One; teams split four-game season series
  • (8) Los Angeles at (2) St, Louis, 7:30 (NBCSN): Game One; Kings won season series 3-1, outscored Blues 9-3

Note: Please feel free to utilize this Caterwaul as a Game Thread for Saturday's playoff action in addition to the usual mayhem.

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