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Cats Classics: December 27, 1997

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Can't wait for the season to start because you miss hockey so much? Well floridapanthers.com offers some relief.


Every Monday until the start of the season, floridapanthers.com will delve into the video vault and bring you "Cats Classic", a highlight reel of classic Panthers games.


The second Cats Classic that we bring to you comes from the 1997-1998 season. On December 27th, the Panthers battled the New York Islanders on the Island.

What makes this game a classic?

How about, the Cats earned a 6-2 victory over the Islanders, in a back-and-fourth, high-scoring affair, there were four fights in the contest, and oh yeah, a goalie named John Vanbiesbrouck won the 300th game of his career and 100th as a Panther. He became the 15th netminder to reach the 300 win plateau, just the 2nd American to reach the feat.

Despite buzzing around the Islanders in the first period, New York held a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The only goal came off of Ziggy Palffy with less than two seconds left to play.

Even though they suffered the late goal, the Cats came out swarming, once again. Radek Dvorak, Steve Washburn, and Tom Fitzgerald would score to give the Cats the 3-2 lead, before Ken Johnsson answered for the Islanders.

But the Cats and Vanbiesbrouck would not be denied this victory. Ray Sheppard and Dvorak would make it 5-1 heading into the final period of play. Fitzgerald would score his second in the third period, and the Beezer made the 6-2 stick, finishing with 34 saves on the night.

Jeff Rimer and Denis Potvin bring you the action from Nassau Coliseum.



Have a nomination for a Cats Classics? Submit it below
(Other Classics already in the playlist for the future include: the first game in franchise history against Chicago, Bill Lindsay's Game 7 winner against Boston in 1996.)

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