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Sunday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Lightning and Maple Leafs handed Saturday night losses

Philadelphia Flyers v Florida Panthers Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Saturday was a banner day for the Florida Panthers. Not only did the club acquire one of the crown jewels of the 2022 trade deadline in Claude Giroux, it also strengthed its hold on first place in the Atlantic Division.

Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal with 16 seconds left in the regulation to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.

The Toronto Maple Leafs got roughed up in Music City, falling by a 6-3 count to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The hungry Preds had little trouble with new Buds keeper Erik Kallgren, beating the 25-year-old five times on 33 shots.

So, the Panthers maintain a six-point lead on the Bolts with Tampa Bay still holding a game in hand, and a seven-point lead on the Maple Leafs with the Cats and Toronto each having twenty games remaining on the schedule, Going to be fun chase to the finish line.

Checkers 3, P-Bruins 2 (SO)

Despite losing Owen Tippett to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Giroux deal, the Charlotte Checkers posted a 3-2 shootout win over the Providence Bruins at Bojangles Arena. Seattle Kraken prospect Joey Daccord made 38 saves and Scott Wilson and Carsen Twarynski got the goals in regulation. Florida’s Cole Schwindt drew an assist on Wilson’s goal and Zac Dalpe scored in the sixth round shootout before Alexander True won it in the seventh.

The Checkers are now 33-22-4 and in third place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division.