Monday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Cats get another day off before facing Capitals

The Florida Panthers get another day off to lick their wounds after Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers before resuming the current homestand with a Tuesday night match against the Washington Capitals. Washington took it on the chin last night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, so they will be looking to not only bounce back from that result, they’ll also be seeking a measure of revenge against the time that knocked them out of the playoffs.

With the 6-3 win over Capitals, the Lightning jumped the Cats in the standings, knocking them down to fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Both of the Sunshine State’s hockey teams have identical 8-6-1 records, but the Lightning hold the early ROW advantage.

The Panthers and the Lightning trail the second place Toronto Maple Leafs by two points. Boston leads the division with 28 points after skating to a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks yesterday.

In the AHL, the Charlotte Checkers, now 6-4-1-1, had a busy weekend, playing three on the roads.

On Friday, the Checkers were beaten 5-2 by the Atlantic Division-leading Providence Bruins. Justin Sourdif scored his first AHL goal and Connor Bunnaman also lit the lamp. Both Charlotte goals came on the power play. Riley Nash, Aleksi Heponiemi and Chris Tierney picked up assists. Alex Lyon gave up four goals on 35 shots.

The Checkers won a 6-5 shootout against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday. The goal-scorers were Anton Levtchi, Gerry Mayhew, Riley Bezeau, Zach Uens and Zac Dalpe. Mayhew notched the only shootout goal in the fourth round. Santtu Kinnunen collected two assists while Max Gildon, Anthony Bitetto, Patrick Giles, Heponiemi and Tierney had one. Mack Guzda made 22 saves to get the win.

Charlotte returned to Providence on Sunday and fell to the Bruins again, this time by a 5-3 count. Levtchi, Michael Del Zotto and Henry Bowlby scored the goals for the Checkers. Assists were earned by Tierney, Heponiemi and Gildon. Lyon stopped 22 of 26 shots.