Panthers close out Invisalign Prospects Showcase with 6-1 loss to Predators

Kiddie Cats go 2-1 in North Carolina

The Florida Panthers closed out the Invisalign Prospects Showcases in North Carolina with a 6-1 loss to the Nashville Predators at PNC Arena.

Florida played well over the first two periods before running out of goals and then gas in the third period as Nashville scored four times to turn a tight game into a rout.

Despite giving up six goals, Mack Guzda had another solid outing in the Panthers net. He didn’t get much help from his mates as the Predators went wild in the final frame. The Cats were hamstrung by a lack of Santtu Kinnunen and Calle Sjalin, who got the day off, on defense.

Ethan Keppen, who is signed to an AHL contract with Charlotte, got Florida’s only goal 38 seconds in the middle stanza when he slammed in a pass from behind the net from Justin Sourdif, who made a strong play down low to get free and center in front, to tie the game.

Jimmy Huntington lit the lamp twice and Egor Afanasyev, Cameron Hausinger, Luke Evangelista and Juuso Parssinen also scored for the Predators, who collected the unofficial showcase “win” by going 2-0-1. Yaroslav Askarov got the start and win and Braden Holt didn’t allow a goal in relief.

Aside for one bad period, the Panthers prospects did well in this showcase, posting two convincing wins against the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. As expected, Sourdif and Kinnunen stood out. Players like Josh Davies, Sandis Vilmanis, Patrick Giles, Marek Alscher and Sjalin had their moments as well.

The Cats will open training camp on Thursday and play an exhibition double-header in Nashville on Monday, September 26.