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Cats and Fans Make Opening Week a Huge Success

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Sellout Crowd and Two Luongo Shutouts Make For An Exciting Return Of Hockey

Sunrise, FL – The National Hockey League announced today that Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo has been named the Defensive Player of the Week, capping off a stellar opening week that saw over 37,000 fans attend a pair of shutout wins at the BankAtlantic Center.

"Opening Week was very special for our franchise," Sunrise Sports & Entertainment chief operating officer Michael Yormark said. "We welcomed our fans back to the building with two big wins and started off our season in impressive fashion."

The Cats opened the 2005-06 season with a 2-0 win over division rival Atlanta in front of a sell-out crowd of 19,250. Then just two nights later, the Panthers sent defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay home with another 2-0 shutout victory. With the win Luongo earned his milestone 25th career shutout, and at present, is the only goalie in the league to record a shutout.

While the fans were treated to some great hockey, they were also treated to some great giveaways including opening night t-shirts, mini Stanley Cups, schedule magnets and the Growl official team program.

The Panthers return to the BankAtlantic Center after a two-game road trip with one of the best records (3-1-0) in the league. They'll face the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and come back two days later for a 7:30 p.m. start against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, October 15. Fans can pick up copies of the Growl at both contests. And the $8 game-day-only ticket special will be in effect.

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