NHL On Tap: Panthers to host Lightning in playoff rematch
Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from three games Friday.
Panthers seek revenge in playoff rematch
The last time these teams met in games that counted, the Florida Panthers got swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Second Round last season after winning the Presidents’ Trophy with the best record in the NHL (58-18-6). The rivalry continues at Florida (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN NOW). The Panthers got outscored 13-3 in the four games, which also prompted them to replace coach Andrew Brunette with Paul Maurice. This season, the teams have started in different directions; Florida is 3-1-0, and Tampa Bay is 1-3-0 after consecutive losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins (6-2) and Philadelphia Flyers (3-2). The Lightning have 10 goals in four games, six of them by Steven Stamkos, and are in search of offense. Expect a playoff-like atmosphere in this one. — David Satriano, staff writer
Perron looks to stay hot for the Red Wings
David Perron has fit in seamlessly with the Detroit Red Wings (2-0-1) and will look to continue his hot start to the season when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks (1-2-0) in their home opener (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, BSDETX, ESPN+, SN NOW). The forward, who signed a two-year, $9.5 million contract ($4.75 million average annual value) as a free agent July 13, has three goals in three games. But scoring is nothing new for the veteran, who had 94 goals in 251 regular-season games during the previous four seasons with the St. Louis Blues. For the Blackhawks (1-2-0), forwards Sam Lafferty (two goals, one assist) and Jason Dickinson (one goal, two assists) each is coming off a big game against the San Jose Sharks in a 5-2 win Saturday, with Lafferty scoring twice short-handed. This is Chicago’s first game in six days. — Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial
Rantanen on an October roll
Mikko Rantanen looks to continue his autumn excellence when the Colorado Avalanche host the Seattle Kraken (9 p.m. ET; ALT2, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, SN NOW). The forward has had at least three points in both Avalanche home games this season, including two goals and an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. He has 57 points (19 goals, 38 assists) in 50 October games, and his average of 1.14 points per game ranks eighth among active NHL players (minimum 50 games) for that month. Colorado (2-1-1) and Seattle (1-2-2) each is looking to bounce back from an overtime loss. The Kraken lost 4-3 to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. Seattle center Shane Wright, the No. 4 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, got an assist for his first NHL point. Kraken forward Andre Burakovsky had a four-game point streak end. — William Douglas, staff writer
Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, HULU, SN NOW)
Acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames in the offseason, forward Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers with six points (two goals, four assists) in four games. Forwards Brayden Point (one goal, one assist) and Nikita Kucherov (five assists) have combined for seven points in four games but only one goal for the Lightning, who will try to avoid a third straight loss.
Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, BSDETX, ESPN+, SN NOW)
The Red Wings have yet to lose in regulation after three games and have a plus-5 goal differential, but they are missing two key forwards. Tyler Bertuzzi is out 4-6 weeks because of an upper-body injury, and Jakub Vrana entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program Wednesday. Coach Derek Lalonde can become the first Red Wings coach with at least one point in his first four games with the team. Chicago is looking for forward Patrick Kane to get going. The veteran forward has one assist in three games this season after he had 92 points (26 goals, 66 assists) in 78 games last season.
Seattle Kraken at Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. ET; ALT2, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, SN NOW)
It’s feast and famine for Colorado’s special teams. The Avalanche have top-ranked power play in the NHL at 53.9 percent (7-for-13) and the lowest-ranked penalty kill at 50.0 percent (7-for-14). Seattle goalie Martin Jones is one game shy of 400 for his NHL career and a win away from 200.