Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.
The Florida Panthers offense is clicking.
After scoring a franchise-record 13 goals through their first three games of the 2017-18 season, the Panthers once again came out firing on Saturday, scoring three goals on 46 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"I thought we played a decent road game," head coach Bob Boughner said. "It's a tough building, as we know, against a good team. It doesn't take a lot for them to capitalize and I thought we opened it up a little too much at times."
As the Panthers (2-2-0) look to get back in the win column this week, Boughner knows that his team will need to tighten up on defense as it prepares to face off against three of the league's top offensive clubs in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.
"When we get to these games you've got to give teams like [the Penguins] respect, but you've got to come in here and expect to win," Boughner said.
Here's everything you need to know for the week ahead…
Tuesday: at Philadelphia Flyers, 7:00 p.m.
Florida's current road trip will come to an end with a battle against the Flyers (3-2-0) at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. The Panthers, who went winless against Philadelphia in three tries last season, will need their defense to have a good showing in this contest, as the Flyers currently own the league's second-ranked offense (4.20 goals per game). For the Panthers, look for Jonathan Huberdeau find his way onto the scoresheet, as the 24-year-old winger is currently tied for the team-lead with five points (3-2-5) and coming off a two-goal performance against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Panthers vs. Flyers in 2016-17: 0-1-2
Radio: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 850 WFTL (Palm Beaches); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast)
Friday: Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers will return to the BB&T Center for a brief one-game homestand against the Penguins (3-2-1) on Friday. Look for the Panthers, who lost to the Penguins 4-3 on Saturday in Pittsburgh, to once again be aggressive offense in this contest, as the team is currently averaging a league-high 42 shots per game. Pittsburgh native Vincent Trocheck, who leads the Panthers with 15 shots on the season, should set the pace for Florida's attack needs against the Penguins, as the 24-year-old center also currently leads all Panthers forwards with 22:54 of ice time per game.
Panthers vs. Penguins this season: 0-1-0
Radio: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beaches); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast)
Saturday: at Washington Capitals 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers will kick off a two-game road trip with a game against the Capitals (3-2-1) at the Capital One Arena on Saturday. If they hope to come away with a victory, Florida's game plan will likely revolve around one major thing: stopping Alex Ovechkin. Through six games this season, Ovechkin, who has 73 points in 57 career games against the Panthers, has scored a league-high nine goals, including back-to-back hat tricks to start his campaign. Look for Aleksander Barkov to play a big role on both offense and defense, as Florida's two-way center has tallied five points (2-3-5) in nine career games against Washington.
Panthers vs. Capitals in 2016-17: 1-2-0
Radio: 880 WZAB (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beaches); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast)
- Roberto Luongo needs just one more win to surpass Curtis Joseph for fourth place on the NHL's all-time wins list with 455.
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the return of Superhero Night!
In an effort to celebrate the world of caped crusaders and otherworldly invaders, the Panthers will be hosting their second-annual Superhero Night at the BB&T Center on Saturday, Oct. 28, when the Detroit Red Wings come to town.
The night will feature appearances from your favorite heroes and villains, as well as exclusive photo opportunities and a limited edition t-shirt for each participant. To receive all the benefits, however, you must order your tickets by following the link in the tweet below.
GRATEFUL DEAD NIGHT
What is Grateful Dead may never die!
The Panthers will be hosting their third Grateful Dead Tribute Night when the team faces off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, Oct. 20 at the BB&T Center.
The festivities will kick off with a pre-game performance by renowned Grateful Dead tribute act Unlimited Devotion at the New Times Bandstand in the Coors Light Cold Zone.
A special limited edition t-shirt will be given out to fans that buy tickets for the game using the special promo code created just for Deadheads (Hint: the code is GRATEFUL). Click HERE for tickets.
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- In the first installment of his monthly mailbag this season, Aleksander Barkov answers all of your questions about life on and off the ice, including the league's updated face-off rule and his NHL 18 rating.
-- Panthers rookie defenseman Ian McCoshen was in "disbelief" after scoring his first NHL goal last week.
"I'm trying not to get complacent with this opportunity," said McCoshen, a second-round pick in 2013. "I want to stay and make an impact here. I want to win."
-- General (RET.) Raymond T. Odierno has been appointed Florida Panthers Chairman and Alternate Governor.
-- Want a free taco from Tijuana Flats? 'Panthers Wednesdaze' is back!
-- Mike Matheson inked an eight-year extension with the Panthers.