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Panthers Rookies Down Lightning, 4-1

Hazen, McFarland, Comrie & Birkholz all net goals.

Wednesday, 09.14.2011 / 6:10 PM ET / Recap
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Panthers Rookies Down Lightning, 4-1
Jonathan Hazen fights for the puck in a Rookie Camp game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Florida won 4-1. (Colleen Mullins)
Sasha Machel, University of Miami

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - The Florida Panthers wrapped up the 2011 Rookie Tournament with a 4-1 win over Tampa on Wednesday afternoon at the Saveology.com Iceplex. This marks the Cats second defeat of the Lightning in Rookie Tournament play.  The game was full of aggressive play from both teams, but it is without question that the Panthers outplayed Tampa Bay in every aspect. 

Today’s standout players did not come from the offensive line, but rather it was the Panther’s defensive players D Colby Robak, D Adam Comrie, and goalie Brian Foster, who showed impressive play and stood there ground against the boards.

The first period seemed to be the most confrontational between the two teams with Florida receiving five minor penalties and Tampa Bay three.  With less than one minute into the game, Florida Panthers player John McFarland was sent into the box with a two-minute minor for interference.  Tampa Bay came out strong with a good tape-to-tape passing game and aggressive play, but it was not long before the Panthers got their feet warmed up, and answered back to Tampa’s aggressors. 

Thirteen minutes into the game the Panthers had their first chance on the powerplay and answered with a goal from Jonathan Hazen in front of the net.  Jonathan Huberdeau assisted the goal and did a nice job setting up the one-timer.  

At the 11:52 mark into the first period Tampa was playing aggressive trying to get the goal back, but Florida was right there with them playing strong defense.  With Huberdeau and Tampa Bay player Radko Gudas already in the penalty box (both sent in for roughing), Hazen made some noise in the Panthers zone, roughing up a Tampa Bay player, and was given a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Panthers’ Jonathan Racine and Lightning’s Brett Connolly joined him, both sent in the box for roughing.  At this point, the Florida Panthers penalty box was crowded with three French-Canadian players named Jonathan, giving Tampa the 4-on-3 powerplay opportunity. Foster made a couple of noteworthy saves, helping Florida kill the penalty.

"(You) really smile about the hockey sense of these kids," said San Antonio head coach Chuck Weber. "We haven’t had much chance to practice and really work on (special teams). You draw things up on the board you show a little video and the way that they’re able to retain it and execute it with very little practice, as a coach, is something that is really rewarding. You know you make a little adjustment here, a little adjustment there and their executing it and picking it up and those are good signs of these players."

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Logan Shaw

A Different Panthers Jersey For Shaw

Joseph Beguiristain, University of Miami
When right winger Logan Shaw heard his name called in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft back in June, he couldn’t believe it.
READ MORE ›

OTHER LINKS:
Panthers/Lightning Highlights
Panthers/Lightning Shootout
Chuck Weber Post-Game
Brian Foster Post-Game
Colby Robak Post-Game
At the 16:39 mark, the Panthers extended their lead when Robak took the puck behind the net and centered it back up to teammate McFarland who sent the puck in the wide-open net.  It was a beautiful assist on Robak’s part.

"I was surprised he was even there," said Robak. "I had no idea he was even there I just kind of threw it to the front."

Another play worth mentioning was by LW Garret Wilson, who sent a Tampa Bay player back to his bench with a nice clean check, sending a strong message that the Panthers were here to play.

Tampa Bay went unanswered on their fourth powerplay attempt when Eric Sellek was sent into the box at 7:10 into the period.  Tampa’s passing game looked good, but Foster did a great job of keeping the puck out of the crease during the Tampa powerplay.  Foster really showed his skill during the second period, knocking down wrist shots left and right from numerous Tampa players.   

At 11:24 into the period, Tampa switched out goaltender Pat Nagle and put in Jaroslav Jarus.  When Tampa player James Wright received a two-minute penalty for boarding at 13:07, Comrie capitalized on the opportunity and sent a snipe into the back of the net 14:46 into the period. Comrie’s shot was set up by Joe Devin.

The second period proved to be a strong one for the Panthers, as they did a good job recovering when they lost the puck, and staying aggressive and big on defense, wearing out Tampa Bay players. 

“I thought that was out best second period of the tournament,” said Weber, “I thought that of the first two games the second was kind of our Achilles heel.”

At the start of the third period Florida led Tampa Bay 3-0. At 3:45 into the period, Tampa Bay center Tyler Johnson stole the pass and on the breakaway scored Tampa Bay’s first and only goal of the game.

Panthers used the goal as a way to gain momentum and were a strong force for the rest of the period.  Foster again came up big with a few good saves.  Overall, it was a lot of back and forth play from zone to zone with missed opportunities and Tampa tripping up on passes.

With 2:12 left in the game, Tampa Bay called a time-out and pulled their goalie giving them the extra-man advantage. It had no effect, and Panthers player Josh Birkholz was given a goal by default after being hooked on the empty-netter breakaway 18:52 into the game. This put the Panthers up 4-1, which would be the final score of the game.

The game was not over yet though, and with the back-and-forth banter that went on throughout the whole game between players, there was bound to be a fight.  With 1:08 left in the game, gloves were flying by the Tampa Bay bench and the one throwing the clean right hooks was Panthers player Eric Selleck, who dominated the fight.  He was given a five-minute major for fighting, two-minute minor for instigating and a game misconduct.
 
Though Tampa Bay won the shoot-out two to one, the Panthers finished up the Rookie Tournament strong, and went 6-and-6 in penalty kills during the game.  Both teams played an aggressive game, with a total of 40 penalty minutes, but it was Florida who seemed to be the stronger team in overall skill and power. 

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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