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Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Former Jet Patrik Laine touches down in the Central Division

Dallas Stars v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in a shootout at United Center on Tuesday to leap frog the Florida Panthers, who have a game in hand, for first place in the Discover Central Division. Our old friend James Reimer made 30 saves through overtime and stopped all three attempts in the shootout for the Hurricanes (6-1-0), who have won five straight. Laine had two shots on goal and finished the game with a -2 rating.

In the other game from the Central, Joe Pavelski had two goals and two assists, as the Dallas Stars ruined Patrik Laine’s debut with the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 6-3 road win at Nationwide Arena.

If you subscribe to the notion that Tampa Bay, Dallas and Carolina are the class of the division, these are positive results. The Panthers are likely in a three-way battle with Columbus and Nashville for the fourth and final playoff spot, so any loss by Blue Jackets and and Predators is most welcome.

Liiga Box Cats

Santtu Kinnunen logged 17:34 TOI and finished with one shot on goal and an even rating in Tappara’s 4-1 win over Sport. The 21-year-old defenseman has produced one goal, 11 assists and a +5 rating in 27 Liiga games this season.

Aleksi Saarela registered two shots on goal and finished with a +1 rating in Lukko’s 4-1 win over Ilves. Saarela logged 17:49 of ice time during the game. The 24-year-old has produced 12 goals and 6 assists and has a +10 rating in 21 Liiga games.

Defenseman Kasper Puutio logged 15:04 TOI and finished with one shot on goal an a +1 rating in Karpat’s 2-1 loss to KooKoo. The 18-year-old has produced one goal and a -3 rating in 14 games this season.

In action from the Swedish Hockey League, Emil Heineman drew an assist on Leksands IF’s only goal in a 5-1 loss to Orebro HK. Heineman logged 12:43 TOI and was credited with one hit and +1 rating. The 19-year-old forward has produced 3 goals and 3 assists in 29 games.

Elliot Ekmark logged 10:43 of ice time and finished with an even rating in Linkoping HC’s 2-1 shootout loss to Vaxjo Lakers. Ekmark has scored one goal in 19 games for Linkoping this season.

In the KHL, defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok logged 11:48 TOI and finished with an even rating in Dinamo Minsk’s 3-1 loss to Avangard Omsk. Kolyachonok has produced one goal, 5 assists and a -3 rating in 46 games for Dinamo this season.

Panthers reserve Maxim Mamin scored a goal in CSKA Moscow’s 4-3 overtime win over Dinamo Riga. Mamin registered three shots in 17:17 TOI and finished with an even rating. The 26-year-old is up to 14 goals and 18 assists in 48 games.