SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The red hot Panthers roll into their third week of the season as one of the NHL’s best teams.
For the first time in franchise history, the Cats have won their first five games and they dominated opponents in the wins. They’re averaging 4 1/2 goals a game and at even strength they have been the stingiest team in hockey.
It has been a balanced attack with head coach Joel Quenneville rolling his lines on most nights fairly equally.
The emergence of rookie Anton Lundell, who now is skating with Sam Reinhart and Mason Marchment, has formed a surprising unexpected trio that in many situations is as good of a line as the team has. In the last three games, they were not only playing well but scoring too. That emergence has made the Panthers perhaps the most dangerous offensive team in the NHL.
Perhaps most important is the play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. He is off to a fantastic start to the season, one of the top goalies in the league and for only the second time in his career he has won his first four decisions.
Bobrovsky looks bigger in the net, has been very calm and has made timely saves when the team has needed them. Spencer Knight, 20, has played one game so far and he came up with a great performance in beating Tampa Bay on the road, allowing only one goal.
The Panthers look to keep it going with a very busy week, hosting Arizona on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.
Then the Panthers hit the road for back-to-back games taking on the improved Detroit Red Wings on Friday night and then the rematch with the Bruins in Boston on Saturday.
The Cats’ mission is to keep piling up as many points as they can early in the season to put themselves in a nice position with a little bit of a cushion to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in late April.