Florida Panthers Need Contributions from Young Players

By Greg Higgins
Florida Panthers
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the Friday night’s contest, the Florida Panthers had yet to play a home game. They opened up with four straight road games against the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning. The game against the Stars is the only game in which they won. As a matter of fact, they gave up seven goals each to the Blues and the Lightning.

Florida desperately needed to get back into the win column. It seemed like a tall task when the Pittsburgh Penguins were rolling into town. The Penguins had opened with three straight home games and won them all. So, the thought of breaking a three-game losing streak on Friday seemed far-fetched.

However, the Panthers rose to the occasion as they took down the Penguins 6-3. It was the young guys that came through for Florida, too. With the game tied at two, Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov scored 1:06 apart to separate themselves from the Penguins and never looked back.

The 18-year-old Barkov and 20-year-old Huberdeau could be anchors for a long time for the Panthers. Florida, who are just two years removed from a playoff appearance, are hoping to return to the postseason this year. Last year, they fell short due to injuries but are hoping to correct that this season.

Getting back won’t be easy with the new divisions, but it has to start somewhere. Getting a win against the Penguins at home was a good place to start.

Greg Higgins is a NHL contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greghiggins457, Like him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.


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