In the final rookie camp game of 2011, the Florida Panthers outplayed the Tampa Bay Lightning the same way the Catswere outplayed by the Nashville Predators just a day earlier, as Jonathan Hazen scored the day's first goal, on the powerplay, and John McFarland scored near the end of the period to give the Panthers a two goal lead. In the second period, the Panthers scored again on the powerplay, this time from Adam Comrie. Quickly before the goal, Tampa Bay switched goaltenders, replacing Pat Nagle, who allowed two goals off 14 shots, with Jaroslav Janus. Tampa finally answered back, with a goal from Tyler Johnson, the only goal for Tampa, but Josh Birkholz put the last nail in the Bolts' coffin with an empty net goal (awarded on a technicality).
A few impressions after the jump...
- Brian Foster: Allowed only one goal on 33 shots, got some help from the defense (which did not feature blueliner Erik Gudbranson) but played a solid game of hockey. I wouldn't say he's going to keep Jacob Markstrom awake at night though.
- McFarland: McFarland scored a nice goal, in both regulation and the shootout, and played a steady and effective game. Don't sleep on him now, he still has life in his stick.
- Alexander Petrovic: Had his best game. Made a huge mistake on a clear that lead to a breakaway (Foster bailed him out), but he was good on the ice. Still not as physical as advertised, I do see him challenging for a spot on the roster, next season.
- Colby Robak: Finally justifies his spot in my top ten prospects. He was all over the ice today and helped McFarland score by creating the scoring chance and let him slap the puck into the wide open net.
Next up: First training camp practice Saturday @ 9am; Saveology Iceplex