FLORIDA PANTHERSThe Florida Panthers stayed alive in their first-round playoff series thanks to an outstanding performance from one of their outstanding prospects.
Spencer Knight, the 20-year-old goaltender who spent most of this season with Boston College, got the start in Monday’s potential elimination game and, despite allowing a goal on his first shot against, earned the season-saving victory by stopping his next 36. Together with his debut performances in the regular season, he is now 5-0-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .938 save percentage as an NHL goaltender. It’s early, but it’s enough to make one question where he'll be starting his first pro season this fall.
Gustav Forsling continues to be a key cog in the Panthers machine. The top-pairing defenseman had a particularly effective Game 3, recording two points, including the game-tying goal late in the third period, and a plus-3 rating. He’s been the only former Checker to crack the postseason lineup thus far as Eetu Luostarinen and Lucas Wallmark have yet to make their debuts.
Florida will attempt to prolong the series once again during Wednesday’s Game 6.
FORSY FORCES OT ? pic.twitter.com/91fW9qgxiG— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 21, 2021
GREENVILLE SWAMP RABBITSThe grueling ECHL regular season chugs on for our affiliate down south. The Swamp Rabbits still have six regular-season games left on their schedule, four of which will take place this week. Thanks in part to six wins in their last seven games, they’re still in great standing in the playoff race as the Eastern Division’s No. 2 seed, having just missed an opportunity to clinch a spot over the weekend.
RABBITS WIN THEIR 6⃣ IN A ROW!!— Greenville Swamp Rabbits (@SwampRabbits) May 23, 2021
It's a @TetradBrewingCo overtime winner on Saturday night over the Wheeling Nailers! Here are the game highlights presented by @AndersonUnivSC online & continuous learning pic.twitter.com/SK0zZNVU1b
IN OTHER NEWS
- Just like he’s done at every other point this season, Alex Nedeljkovic took an opportunity to start the Hurricanes’ first playoff game and made the absolute most of it.
Since stopping 22 of 24 shots in that first outing, Nedeljkovic has posted a 2.13 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in the 2-2 series with Nashville.
In his most recent game in Raleigh, fans chanted his name during the interview immediately following his 32-save shutout.
This is what it's all about https://t.co/QvSFt6eKHL— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) May 20, 2021
He didn’t earn the victory in either of the next two games but carried the Hurricanes deep into double overtime on both occasions, making several amazing stops like these in Game 4:
This is just stupid pic.twitter.com/znnsRcKAnW— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 23, 2021
Ned will once again get the start in tonight’s Game 5 back in Raleigh.
- Also in Game 4, Brock McGinn scored his first two goals of the playoffs, including this doozy to give the Hurricanes the lead early in the third period:
Brock x2 ?? pic.twitter.com/UCOkqMOKsg— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 23, 2021
- Warren Foegele (1g, 1a), Steven Lorentz (2a) and Martin Necas (2a) also all have multiple points for the Hurricanes thus far. Necas could have earned two assists on this sequence in Game 1:
Give me fuel!— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 18, 2021
Give me fire!
Give me Nino Niederreiter! pic.twitter.com/lHQN3lU5gi
- In Vegas, Nicolas Roy scored twice to help the Golden Knights to a 4-0 victory and a 3-1 series lead:
- Earlier in the series, it was fellow 2019 Calder Cup champion Patrick Brown getting a big goal for Vegas:
PINBALL PATTY!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/swWCBVMqba— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 21, 2021
- The Ottawa Senators didn’t make the playoffs, which meant they could go ahead and get Clark Bishop’s contract extension taken care of.
- Andrew Poturalski officially took home the AHL scoring title. Look for his name to appear again on postseason awards that the league will announce in the next few weeks.
Congrats Potsy! https://t.co/hDUuzGuuoo— Charlotte Checkers (@CheckersHockey) May 20, 2021
- Finally, after two seasons playing under AHL contracts within the organization, former Checkers defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald signed an NHL deal with the Hurricanes.
The #Canes have signed defenseman Cavan Fitzgerald to a two-year contract worth $750k in the NHL and $70k in the AHL in both seasons.— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) May 11, 2021
Fitzgerald is an alternate captain with the Wolves this season.https://t.co/ZwnKiqhMtV