Tuesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

The NHL returns from extended holiday break

The NHL will return from its holiday slumber tonight. There are three games on the docket tonight, including one with implications for the Florida Panthers, who get another day off before hosting the New York Rangers.

Atlantic Division leaders Tampa Bay will face the lowly Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. -ESPN+/Hulu) at Amalie Arena. The Lightning currently have a four-point lead on the Cats, so tonight we root for the Habs. Florida will have two games in hand on the Bolts after this one.

There are two late games for the night owls. ESPN+/Hulu has the Arizona Coyotes at the San Jose Sharks at 10:30 p.m. The Vegas Golden Knights visit the Los Angeles Kings which also has a 10:30 p.m. start time.

Panthers prospects at the World Junior Championship

Elliot Ekmark won 6 of 13 faceoffs and put three shots on goal in Sweden’s 3-0 shutout win over Slovakia. Ekmark played 10:21 and finished the tilt with an even rating.

Kasper Puutio logged 19:20 of ice and registered one shot on goal in Finland’s 7-1 thrashing of Austria. Puutio finished the game with a +1 rating.

Jakub Kos logged 6:17 of ice time and finished with an even rating in Czechia’s 2-1 overtime loss to Germany.

Today’s games

Group A (Edmonton)

Austria vs. Canada (Sourdif) 7 p.m.

Group B (Red Deer)

Switzerland vs. United States (samoskevich, Smilanic) 4:30 p.m.

* Both games will be broadcast on NHL Network