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Panthers post 4-2 win over Predators at Southeast Rookie Showcase

Photo Credit: Panthers Underground

Josh Davies, Ryan McAllister, Sandis Vilmanis and Riley Bezeau scored the goals, and Swiss goaltender Ludovic Waeber stopped 38 shots in the Florida Panthers 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators at the 2023 Southeast Rookie Showcase in Estero.

After Kevin Wall got the Predators on the board early with an unassisted goal just 1:23 into the action, Davies countered with a power-play goal at 15:20 by deflecting Santtu Kinnunen’s shot past Gustavs Grigals. Nathan Staios picked up the secondary assist and Justin Sourdif won a big offensive zone draw.

An interference penalty on Adam Wilsby led to the go-ahead goal at 14:20 of the second period. After taking a pass from Vilmanis, Mike Benning set-up McAllister, who beat Grigals from the left circle.

Vilmanis finished off a pretty rush by splitting the defense to light the lamp on the backhand 26 seconds into the final frame to put the Cats up by two. It was the third power-play goal of the night for the Panthers.

Nashville would pull one back when Tanner Molendyk sniped Waeber from the top of the circle at the 8:50 mark with the Predators enjoying a man-advantage.

Bezeau would restore the Cats two-goal and complete the scoring with 6:11 left by blowing by Graham Sward and putting the puck upstairs. The feisty Bezeau also dropped the gloves with Jack Matier in the second period.

After regulation, the teams held a five-round shootout. The Panthers failed to score again while Nav Mutter converted in the second round and Zach L’Heureux solved Waeber in the fifth for Nashville.

The Panthers bounced back from Friday’s loss to Carolina to even its record at 1-1. They will get the day off from game play before finishing the showcase against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

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