|9/20/15 – 4:30 / 8:00 PM ET||1st||2nd||3rd||Total|
Panthers hockey is officially back – well, preseason hockey is at least – and the NHL has rewarded our patience with a split-squad doubleheader! The Panthers will take on the Predators in Nashville tomorrow night at 4:30 PM before playing a second game three-and-a-half hours later at 8:00 PM.
Rosters for tomorrow’s games:
Between The Lines
With these games being the first two of the preseason for both teams, it’s highly likely that the starting lineups of each will feature more non-regulars, including rookies and invitees, rather than regulars so that the coaches and managers can begin to weed out the ones that won’t be remaining with the big clubs.
When it comes to the Panthers, they invited two players to their training camp: David Booth and Martin Havlat. They also have several players hoping to make the NHL roster this year, including 2015 1st-round draft pick Lawson Crouse, Michael Matheson, Rocco Grimaldi, Quinton Howden, and Connor Brickley, among others. The Panthers will also use these games as a measuring stick for guys who may not be ready for the show just yet, including players like Jayce Hawryluk, Josh Brown, Kyle Rau, Sam Brittain, and many more skilled, young guns. The Panthers’ management is hoping that the large amount of guys fighting to secure a roster spot will create a high level of competition and make everyone a little bit more hungry. You can read our in-depth Panthers season preview by clicking here if you missed it earlier this week.
General Manager Dale Tallon told the media yesterday that his message to the players at training camp was to “give it your best everyday because we’ve got eyes on everybody,” and that while 51 were invited, there are only 23 spots with most of those already occupied by current players. Tallon also mentioned the 3-2 regulation loss to Boston in March as something he wants the players to remember throughout the year in order to stay motivated and make the playoffs.
The Nashville Predators enter the preseason also looking to return to the playoffs after an impressive 104-point season and a tough 1st-round exit at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Predators also boast a stockpile of young talent, including Filip Forsberg, who who was 2nd in the league in points and goals by a rookie last year, Kevin Fiala, Juuse Saros, Jimmy Vesey, and Jack Dougherty.
The Panthers played a doubleheader against the Predators during last year’s preseason and lost 2-1 and 4-1 in game 1 and 2 respectively. The Cats went 0-4-2 in their 6 preseason games last year while the Preds went an even 3-3-0. Two days ago, the NHL announced that it has designated 45 of the league’s total schedule of preseason games this year to test out the new 3-on-3 overtime at the end of each game regardless of the score, and the evening game of the Panthers-Predators doubleheader was chosen as the first game to test it. It will be the NHL’s first look at 3-on-3 overtime due to the fact that it was the only one chosen to test the new overtime on the first day of the preseason.