Maine Hockey Journal

Panthers earn split with Predators

Panthers - Logo1The Florida Panthers opened its exhibition schedule Sunday with a pair of games against the Nashville Predators.

The Panthers would split its two-game series with the Panthers, falling 5-2 in Game 1 before pulling out a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 2 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.

Filip Forsberg scored twice as the Predators built a 4-0 lead midway through the third period.

Forsberg, who had 63 points (26 goals, 37 assists) as a rookie, scored the first goal of the NHL preseason on the power play at 13:43 of the first period. He scored another power-play goal 8:25 into the third period.

Vladislav Kamanev, Roman Josi and Colton Sissons scored for the Predators. Carter Hutton made eight saves; Marek Mazanec allowed two goals on 14 shots.

The Panthers would get on board with 6:30 left in the game when Connor Brickley continued his solid training camp effort, beating Marek Mazanec for the power play goal. Jussi Jokinen also tallied a power-play goal for the Panthers.

Panthers’ goaltender Mike McKenna started the game and stopped 16 of 19 shots through two periods before rookie Colin Stevens entered the game in the third period. Stevens stopped eight of 10 shots he faced.

Brett Regner, who is likely to be the Pirates next captain, tallied an assist on Brickley’s goal.

Mike Matheson scored his first goal of the preseason, lifting the Panthers past the Predators, 3-2 in overtime, in the second game of their doubleheader Sunday evening at Bridgestone Arena.

It was the first 3-on-3 overtime game since the NHL adopted the new rules to minimize the number of games going to a shootout.

Much like the first game, the Predators jumped out to an early lead as Taylor Aronson and Mike Fisher made it 2-0 for Nashville.

Aleksander Barkov cut the lead in half, 2-1, with 12 minutes left in the first period.

After a scoreless second period, Shane Harper evened the game at one goal apiece with 1:17 left in regulation. Kyle Rau and Nick Bjugstad assisted on the play.

Matheson competing for one of the few roster spots on the Panthers blue line found the back of the net at the 2:05 mark of overtime. Assist went to Harper and Rau. All three are expected to be impact players for the Portland Pirates this season.

Al Montoya started the game in goal for the Panthers, finishing with 18 saves before Sam Brittain entered the game in the third period, stopping all nine shots.

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