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Cats and Coffee: Panthers Head Home, Sceviour's Hatty

Welcome back to a spooky edition of Cats and Coffee

by Jameson Olive JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Sceviour scores his third goal

FLA@DET: Sceviour scores SHG, tallies a hat trick

Colton Sceviour gets to the rebound in front of the net and pounds it home for a shorthanded goal to record his first career hat trick

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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.

After stumbling in the early stages of last week's road trip, the Florida Panthers believe they are back on the right track after an impressive 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. 

"We knew we hadn't played the way we needed to play in the first three games of the trip," said Panthers goaltender James Reimer, who stopped 34 of 36 shots to earn his first victory of the season. "The guys really turned it around though.

 

Although the Panthers struggled at times during their four-game trip, forward Jonathan Marchessault stayed red hot, recording two goals and two assists to increase his team-high point total to 11 (6-5-10). Marchessault, who signed a two-year contract with the Panthers this offseason, is currently tied with six other players for third place in the league's scoring race.

"Marchy's playing great for us right now, scoring a lot of key goals," Panthers forward Reilly Smith said. "A lot of other guys have to pick up the slack and help him out."

After an off day on Monday, the Panthers (4-4-1) will look to continue their winning ways against a trio of Eastern Conference foes this week. Florida's three-game slate begins with a pair of contests at home against the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. After that, the team will travel to Washington, D.C. for a date with the Capitals. 

"You don't want to get below .500 too much, so that win [in Detroit] was big for us," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said.

Here's everything you need to know for the week ahead…

THE GAMES

Tuesday: Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers will get their first look at the boys from Beantown this season when the Bruins visit the BB&T Center on Tuesday. The Panthers, who posted a 1-2-1 record against Boston last season, will look for a stalwart performance from their defense in this contest, as the Bruins currently own the league's 27th-ranked offense (2.25 goals per game) and 30th-ranked power play (7.1 percent). On offense, look for winger Reilly Smith, who the Panthers acquired from the Bruins in the summer of 2015, to find the back of the net against his former team. Smith, 25, notched three points (2-1-3) in four games against the Bruins last season.

Panthers vs. Bruins this season: 0-0-0
TV: FSF Radio: English: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beaches); 97.7 WAVK (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast) 


Thursday: New Jersey Devils, 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers will play host to New Jersey for a second time this season when the Devils visit the BB&T Center on Thursday. In their first meeting, Aleksander Barkov scored 2:48 into overtime to give the Panthers a 2-1 victory over the Devils on Opening Night. Since then, however, New Jersey has won three of its last four games, including a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. If the Panthers hope to walk away with another victory in this contest, they'll need to find a way to crack goaltender Cory Schneider and New Jersey's second-ranked defense (2.00 goals allowed per game).

Panthers vs. Devils this season 1-0-0
TV: FSF
Radio: English: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beaches); 97.7 WAVK (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast) 


Saturday: at Washington Capitals, 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers will look to avenge an early-season loss when they visit the Capitals on Saturday. In their only previous meeting this season, goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 26 of 28 shots to lead the Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Panthers at the BB&T Center. In this contest, look for Aleksander Barkov to be the spark that ignites Florida's offense, as the 21-year-old center has five points (2-3-5) in eight career games against Washington.  

Panthers vs. Capitals this season: 0-1-0
TV: FSF Radio: English: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beaches); 97.7 WAVK (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast) 


SCEVIOUR TIMES THREE

Florida's hat-trick curse was lifted on Saturday night, as forward Colton Sceviour scored three goals -- one at even strength, one on the power play and one short-handed - to lead the Panthers to a 5-2 victory over the Red Wings.

"That was exciting; I can't even remember the last hat trick I scored," Sceviour said. "I can't take too much credit though. I think all three goals were shots from the blue."

The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first period when Sceviour scored twice in 23 seconds. The first came on a Florida power play, when he tipped Trocheck's feed past goaltender Petr Mrazek at 6:09, and the second came after he batted in a rebound at 6:32.

Sceviour, who signed a two-year contract with the Panthers this offseason, finished off his first-career hat trick at 16:25 of the second, making it 5-1 with a shorthanded goal.

"All three of my goals came inside the blue [crease] when I ended up shooting it,'' Sceviour said. "A great play by Trocheck gave me a wide-open net and great plays on the other ones, I just happened to be the guy in front of the net who benefitted from them.''

Sceviour's hat trick was the first by a Panthers skater since Tomas Kopecky in February of 2013 and the first without the aid of an empty net goal since Nathan Horton in December of 2009.

MILESTONE WATCH

- Panthers center Derek MacKenzie is three points shy of 100 for his career.

- Panthers forward Shawn Thornton is two points shy of 100 for his career.

- Panthers center Vincent Trocheck is three assists shy of 50 for his career.

- Panthers defenseman Jason Demers is four points shy of 150 for his career.

- Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is two assists shy of 50 for his career.

COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)

- After spending their childhood playing hockey together in Edmonton, Alberta, defensemen Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk are happy to be reunited on Florida's blue line this season

"We've known each other since we were young," Petrovic said of his relationship with Pysyk. "We played U-18 and U-17 together. We didn't partner up all the time, but growing up we had lots of chances to play with and against each other. We also did some summer hockey together as well."

- Although he hasn't released any chart-topping albums -- or so we think - legendary forward Jaromir Jagr still managed to find a way into the pages of Rolling Stone. In the article, Rolling Stone's Dustin Luke Nelson took a look at Jagr's potential milestones, and his place in NHL history.

"At this point in his career, he's damn near breaking a new record every time he steps on the ice," Luke writes. "Last year's 27 goals and 66 points are great for any player, but it's the most goals ever scored by someone 42 or older."

- With a shoot-first mentality and exceptional playmaking ability, Jonathan Marchessault has been flourishing in an elevated role with the Panthers this season.

"He's got some skill and he's got some speed and he's got some talent," Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant said. "Right now, he's worked real well with those top two guys. He's replacing Huberdeau, and that's line been together for a year and a half, but he's stepped in there and we haven't missed a beat.

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