Tuesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Offseason Open Forum

Lightning draw first blood against Canadiens

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and added an assist, and Brayden Point finished with three helpers to power the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena.

Turnover prone Montreal’s only goal was scored by Ben Chiarot late in the second period after Erik Cernak and Yanni Gourde had put the Bolts up two. It was Chiarot’s first NHL playoff goal in his 52nd game.

Kucherov, who entered the game with 27 points,  became the fifth player in NHL history to post multiple 30-point playoff seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky (six), Mark Messier (three), Jari Kurri (two) and Mario Lemieux (two). He produced all of his points in the third period and Steven Stamkos completed the scoring with a power-play marker with 1:10 left in the game.

Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t too busy as the Canadiens only tested him 19 times. Carey Price stopped 22 of Tampa Bay 27 shots on goal.

More postgame coverage at Raw Charge and Eyes On The Prize

NHL News

The 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend will take place in Las Vegas, NV, at the home of the Vegas Golden Knights, T-Mobile Arena, and will be scheduled during its traditional midway point of the NHL regular season. The 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend will include the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills™ and the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Game, and will feature various hockey-themed events, entertainment and activities. Confirmed dates for the 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend will be announced when available.

The Florida Panthers were supposed to host the event in 2021, but it was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic. 2023? How about it, NHL?

The 2022 NHL Winter Classic® will feature the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild at the home of the MLB’s Minnesota Twins, Target Field, in Minneapolis, MN, on Jan. 1, 2022. The outdoor game, originally scheduled for New Year’s Day 2021, will mark the second NHL regular-season outdoor game for both the Blues and the Wild. The game continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with the 2022 edition marking the 14-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic® in Buffalo.

The 2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™ will visit the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, Nissan Stadium, in Nashville, TN, where the Nashville Predators will play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 26, 2022. It will be the second regular-season outdoor game for the Predators and first such game for the Lightning, who will become the 27th NHL team to participate in a regular-season outdoor game.

Panthers to share Checkers with Kraken

The Panthers and new Seattle Kraken announced that they have entered into a joint agreement to share the AHL Charlotte Checkers for the 2021-22 season.

As the Checkers’ primary affiliate, the Cats will provide the head coach, Geordie Kinnear, while the Kraken will have the opportunity to provide an assistant coach.

Seattle will park eight to 12 prospects, including one goaltender, in Charlotte while  construction of a new arena in Palm Springs, CA, that will eventually host the Kraken’s AHL expansion franchise continues. The yet to be named Palm Springs club will begin play in 2022-23.