While the Florida Panthers get one more day to bask in the glory of Monday's exciting 4-3 shootout win over the mumpsy Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL returns from its holiday slumber tonight with 13 games on the slate. Among the tilts Cats fans want to keep an eye on are: Boston (+1 on FLA) vs. Columbus, New Jersey vs. New York Rangers (+2 on FLA) and Washington (+2 on FLA) vs. Pittsburgh.
The Capitals are currently holding down the Eastern Conference's second wild card spot with 40 points. Florida sits just two points behind having played two fewer games. The Panthers get back at it tomorrow evening when they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to the BB&T Center.
In some organizational news, prospect Ian McCoshen played in Team USA's 2-1 shootout win over defending champions Finland yesterday at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. McCoshen finished the game with a -1 rating and failed register a point or any shots on goal, but hey, he is a defenseman... In other games, host Canada crushed Slovakia 8-0, Russia edged Denmark 3-2 in a shootout, and Sweden beat the Czech Republic 5-2.
The Panthers' AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, returned to action Friday night with a 7-3 rout of the Texas Stars. Rookie forward Rocco Grimaldi tied a franchise record with a stellar five-point performance. Grimaldi, who finished with a +5 rating, scored a goal and dished out 4 assists to power the Rampage. Logan Shaw and Garrett Wilson each scored two goals.
Hockey is back people, let's get the chatter going. Hope you all are having a happy holiday season!