NEWARK–Eight. That’s the number of defensemen the Panthers dressed Tuesday in New Jersey. It’s a rare sighting due in part to the obvious implication: it’s at the expense of two forwards. Alternatively, meet the Florida Panthers.
The Cats fourth line consisted of two Panther blue liner’s on Tuesday and they did a lot more than just ‘fill-in’.
If these Florida Panther line rushes accurately reflect Quenneville’s lineup, he’s playing 8 defensemen tonight v Devils.
The unique line’s effectiveness did not end there as 2:43 into the second, Mark Pysyk, also masquerading as a winger, added another Panther goal–the 3-1 tally. And after watching his two line mates connect, Noel Acciari, the center and only natural forward, connected at 5:38 of the second period to make it a 5-2 lead for Florida.
By the end of the game’s first 40 minutes, the fourth line recorded a combined stat line of three goals, six assists and nine points to go along with five shots-on-goal.
The odd occurrence followed a 4-1 loss to the Flyers, where the team had seven defensemen play with Matheson as the odd-man out on a seven-man rotation on defense. Tuesday’s lineup though saw Jayce Hawryluk and Denis Malgin sit.