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Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Cats slip to third after Bolts and Canes win

WHL: NOV 14 Portland Winterhawks at Everett Silvertips Photo by Christopher Mast/Everett Silvertips

The Florida Panthers slipped from first to third place in the Discover Central after the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes posted wins on the road last night.

Tampa Bay blanked the Dallas Stars by a 2-0 count, that’s three straight shutouts for Andrei Vasilevskiy, and the Hurricanes got two goals from Sebastian Aho in a 4-2 win over Florida’s next opponent, the Nashville Predators.

The Panthers (30 points) are just one point behind the Lightning and Hurricanes. The have played one more game than Tampa Bay and have a game in hand on Carolina. All three teams will play on Thursday.

Hutsko signing official

We knew it was coming, and it finally became official on Monday. The club agreed to terms with forward Logan Hutsko on a two-year, entry-level contract beginning in the 2021-22 season. Hutsko, 22, appeared in 11 games of his senior season with Boston College in 2020-21, recording 4 goals and 11 points. The 5-foot-10, 172-pound native of Tampa, FL, registered an NCAA career-best 33 points (19G/14A) over 30 games in 2019-20. His 19 goals were tied for the most on Boston College. Selected by Florida in the third round (89th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Hutsko played four seasons for BC (2017-18 to 2020-21), recording 101 points (41G/60A) over 114 career NCAA games.

GM BIll Zito had this to say:

“Throughout Logan’s collegiate career, he displayed unmatched determination and character,” said Zito. “He possesses a dynamic level of skill, coupled with great pace and compete. We are excited for Logan’s future and look forward to his continued development in our organization.”

Ludvig comes through in Crunch time

The Syracuse Crunch (2-4-1) ended a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Rochester Americans on Monday, thanks to Panthers prospect John Ludvig’s first career AHL goal with 5:31 remaining in regulation. Ludvig has produced three points, 10 shots, 4 PIM and a +1 rating for the Crunch. Check out the recap on Raw Charge for more on the game.

Liiga Box Cats

Aleksi Saarela registered one shot on goal and finished with a -1 rating in 16:17 TOI in Lukko’s 5-4 win over Sport. Saarela has produced 13 goals and 23 points in 29 games this season.

Kasper Puutio logged 7:15 TOI and finished with an even rating in Kapat’s 2-1 loss to KalPa. The 18-year-old defenseman has now played 21 games this season and has totaled a goal and an assist.