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Panthers honor Fort Lauderdale Airport victims

After tragic shooting, team has moment of silence, Mike Matheson pays tribute on skates @NHLdotcom

Moment of silence at BB&T Center

NSH@FLA: Airport victims honored prior to puck drop

A moment of silence is held prior to the game at BB&T Center to honor those affected by the events in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • 00:35 •

After a tragic afternoon, the Florida Panthers paid tribute to the victims of the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting by holding a moment of silence before the game Friday.

The team also Tweeted a photo of defenseman Mike Matheson writing "FLL" on the inside heels of his skates. FLL is the airport code for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: We stand with our community. #FLL ������

Earlier Friday, a gunman opened fire on travellers in the baggage claim terminal. Five people were killed and eight more injured.

The event hit close to home for some of the Panthers players, who sent out condolences on social media earlier in the day.

"I was sitting in my apartment when I heard about the news," Matheson told the Panthers website. "It's pretty crazy when you think of what happened. I just felt like I wanted to do something to recognize the people that were affected by what happened and obviously the people that stepped in and probably saved a lot of lives.

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: "South Florida is a tight-knit community. It's tough to see something like that happen." ��� @mmatheson19�� ����

"I think we're a pretty strong community," Matheson said. "I've only been here for a little over a half year now and I think that everyone in South Florida is a tight-knit community. It's tough to see something like that happen anywhere, but especially five minutes away from where I live."

The Panthers organization also paid tribute to the victims of the shooting on the television broadcast before the game and on the ice, as the arena went dark and the letters FLL appeared on the scoreboard during the moment of silence.

"We're a gathering place for the community," executive chairman Peter Luukko told the website. "In these situations it's good for people to come together, which they're doing tonight, and then go on with the game. We did feel it was important to move on, but obviously respect those who were killed in this awful incident and then pray for the safety and recovery of those that were wounded."

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