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Cats Classics: October 6, 1993

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

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

Cats Classics | Dec. 27, 1997 | Jan. 22, 2000

The third Cats Classic that we bring to you comes from the very first game in franchise history: October 6, 1993, against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago.

So what makes this game a classic?

Well, to start it off. It's the first game in the history of the franchise. It's what got everything started.

After Miami earned an expansion team on December 10, 1992, the Cats would start play the upcoming season. With a bunch of "castoffs" from other teams, through an expansion draft, the Panthers would earn instant success. The first year saw the team set a record for the greatest success by a first year squad, finishing one point below .500 and just out of the playoffs.

The season started with that first game, a 4-4 tie in Chicago.

Scott Mellanby would score the first goal in franchise history, shoveling in a rebound 12:31 into the first period as Rob Niedermayer and Evgeny Davydov collected the assists on the power play tally.

Despite being outshot 12-7 in the opening period, the Cats held onto the 1-0 lead. It didn't last as Chicago used two Chris Chelios power play blasts to take the 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

Defenseman Gord Murphy would knot the score at two, 5:18 into the last period with a low shot from the point, but the Hawks would once again take the lead on a Jeremy Roenik power play goal shortly after.

Cats forward Andrei Lomakin found himself one-on-one with goaltender Ed Belfour, and with a pretty deke, beat him to tie the score once again at the 8:50 mark.

The Panthers would then take their second lead of the game when captain Brian Skrudland gathered his own rebound and roofed the puck with 6:20 left in the game.

It wasn't enough as Roenik would score his second of the game with 3:53 left, as Chicago made good once again on the power play, their fourth conversion of the night.

After a scoreless five-minute overtime, it was time to celebrate for the Cats as they had earned their first point in franchise history.

STARTERS FOR CATS: Goalie - John Vanbiesbrouck: Defensemen - Joe Cirella and Keith Brown: Forwards Center - Brian Skrudland, Left Wing - Dave Lowry, Right Wing - Scott Mellanby

OTHERS WHO DRESSED: Defensemen - Gord Murphy, Greg Smyth, Brian Benning, Alexander Godynyuk: Forwards - Evgeny Davydov, Randy Gilhen, Mike Hough, Andrei Lomakin, Tom Fitzgerald, Scott Levins, Bill Lindsay, Jesse Belanger, Rob Niedermayer: Goalie Mark Fitzpatrick


Jeff Rimer and Denis Potvin bring you the action from the Chicago Stadium.

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