The Florida Panthers opened the preseason with a 5-3 win and a 3-2 loss in overtime to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Panthers 5, Predators 3
Florida got two goals and an assist from first star of the gameConnor Brickley to post a 5-3 win in the afternoon opener. Michael Matheson and Denis Malgin each had a goal and an assist and Jonathan Ang chipped in two helpers. Rookie Henrik Haapala opened the scoring with a quick snipe. James Reimer started and stopped all 15 shots he faced. Harri Sateri finished the game and made 16 saves on 19 shots. Dryden Hunt, Chase Balisy, Eddie Wiitchow, Owen Tippett and Blaine Byron were the other Panthers to register assists. Cody McLeod, Emil Pettersson and Vikto Arvidsson scored for Nashville. Juuse Saros went the distance in goal for the Predators and finished with 23 saves.
Predators 3, Panthers 2 (OT)
Mikko Salomaki scored his second goal of the game 3:07 into overtime to give the Predators a 3-2 win in the nightcap. Salomaki’s first of the game tied the score at one 15:20 into the second period. Vincent Trocheck opened with an unassisted power-play goal at the 15:44 mark of the first period. Colton Scissons lit the lamp with 1:11 remaining in the second to give Nashville a 2-1 lead. Jared McCann notched another unassisted power-play goal for the Cats at 12:49 of the final frame to send the game to overtime. Roberto Luongo started for Florida and stopped 8 out of 8 shots in 31:26 of action. Samuel Montembeault went the rest of the way and surrender three goals on 11 shots. Pekka stopped 8 of 9 shots and Anders Lindback made 14 saves for the Predators.
The Panthers will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Sunday. I would expect some cuts to the training camp roster before then, with a group of players heading to Springfield to stock the Thunderbirds and others returning to their junior teams.