Panthers at Oilers Tonight
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2006 – 9:30 PM (EDT)
Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Preseason Game #2
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Florida Panthers play their second preseason game and the second of six consecutive road preseason games this evening when they take on the Calgary Flames. Tonight marks the second of six games in eight nights for the Panthers. The Cats return to South Florida for their final two preseason games, when they will face-off against Atlanta on Sept. 27 and Chicago on Sept. 28.
LAST NIGHT: The Panthers played their first exhibition game last night in Calgary with the Flames winning 3-1. Olli Jokinen continued his strong play from the 05-06 season, scoring the Cats lone goal in the first period on the power play. Florida out-shot the Flames 37-25 and Ed Belfour made 11 saves in his Panthers debut.
LIFETIME SERIES: Florida and Edmonton did not meet during the 2005-06 season and have met in just nine regular season games with the Panthers going 5-2-2 against the Oilers. The two clubs last met on Jan. 13, 2004 with the Oilers defeating the Panthers 4-2 in Edmonton.
STRONG FINISH: The Panthers ended the 2005-06 schedule going 3-0-2 in their last five games. D Mike Van Ryn ended the Cats season on a high note, scoring two goals including the OT game-winner in the final game of the season against Atlanta. Two games prior, it was C Joe Nieuwendyk who had the OT winner as the Panthers won in Ottawa 5-4.
FREE AGENT FRENZY: The Panthers were very active in free agency, acquiring two key players for the upcoming season. D Ruslan Salei (from ANA) and G Ed Belfour (from TOR) bring a combined 201 games of NHL playoff experience. Belfour has accumulated the second most wins in NHL history and Salei has played in more games then any other defensemen taken in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
WELCOME HOME: Just two months after their blockbuster trade, RW Todd Bertuzzi, D Bryan Allen and G Alex Auld return to play against a Northwest Division opponent. All three were traded from Vancouver to the Panthers on July 23 for G Roberto Luongo, D Lucas Krajicek and a sixth round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Bertuzzi has played in 40 games against Calgary with 13 goals and 19 assists along with 85 PIM. Auld is 2-5-0 with a GAA of 4.05 in seven career games against the Flames and Allen has one goal and 6 PIM in 15 career games against his former division rival.
DOUBLE DUTY: Cats bench boss Jacques Martin took over the duties of General Manager on Sept. 3, 2006. He is now the only head coach in the NHL to serve as both coach and General Manager. Martin has 444 career coaching victories, second most among active NHL coaches.
ELDER STATESMAN: C Olli Jokinen is now the longest tenured Panther. Jokinen was traded to Florida in June 2000. In five seasons with the Cats, he has scored 115 goals and 142 assists, while being named captain of the team prior to the 2003-04 season. His 88 points last season marked the third highest single season total in Panthers history.
LEADERS: C Stephen Weiss (3-1-3), C Rostislav Olesz (2-2-4) and C Chris Gratton (0-4-4) led the Panthers in points during the 2005 preseason. All three centers are back with the Cats again for the 2007 preseason. Gratton also lead Florida with 18 PIM during last year's preseason games.
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW: Tickets are on sale for Cats home games including great season, mini and group ticket packages. Call (954) 835-PUCK to reserve your seat. The Panthers drop the puck for the 2006-07 regular season on Oct. 6 when they face-off against the Boston Bruins at 7:30 p.m. at the BankAtlantic Center.