Good thing for Florida that Philly didn't offer much for goaltender Tomas Vokoun at today's deadline, if anything. GM Paul Holmgren's club is almost certainly regretting it.
The Panthers began the game with a fire under their belt little seen at any point this season. If two fights in the opening five seconds doesn't grab your teammates' attention, little will. Nick Tarnasky went twice with Arron Asham, among other scuffles, but the headliner was David Booth taking on former purveyor of pain Mike Richards. Don't get too excited: it wasn't much of a fight; one of those "okay, everyone's expecting it, let's get it over with" deals which is nonetheless always a hoot. Controversy ended.
Cats defenseman Jason Garrison channeled his inner-Paul Coffey throughout the evening, making numerous rushes into the offensive zone, picking up not only his first NHL goal, but an assist as well. He looked good.
David Booth ended the evening with four points (1g, 3a, 4sog) as did captain Bryan McCabe (1g, 3a). Believe it or not: this was Booth's first goal on BAC ice of the season.
Michael Frolik had two goals (8sog) while Stephen Weiss grabbed his 23rd of the year. Keith Ballard finished with two assists.
Not to be forgotten, center Shawn Matthias (1a) looked fantastic at times.
Tomas Vokoun - still thankfully a Panther - stopped 38 of 42 shots. Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton combined for 36 saves.
Chris Pronger and Blair Betts both ended with two assists apiece as Jeff Carter, Ville Reino, Daniel Briere, and Ryan Parent scored for the visitors.
Next up: Carolina Saturday in Sunrise.