Kolnik Scores Two; Campbell, Stumpel, Horton, Gelinas Tally One Goal Apiece
SUNRISE – The Florida Panthers ended their preseason on a high note as they handed the Chicago Blackhawks their first loss of the preseason, coming back from a two goal deficit to win 6-3.
The Chicago Blackhawks took an early two-goal lead on tallies from F David Bolland and F Tony Salmelainen early in the first period of play. Almost six minutes later, the Cats responded with LW Gregory Campbell scoring along with RW Juraj Kolnik scoring the first of his two goals to end the period.
The Cats came alive in the second period, registering four goals, two of them on the power play. Kolnik got the scoring started off first in the second period for the Panthers, then C Jozef Stumpel continued the trend, getting his first goal of the preseason. 27 seconds later, RW Nathan Horton lit up the score board with his second preseason goal off an assist from new Panther RW Todd Bertuzzi, his first point as a Panther and in his first game back from a rib injury. LW Martin Gelinas capped a Panther rout with a goal with C Chris Gratton getting the assist, his third of the night.
G Ed Belfour manned the cage tonight, stopping 19 of 22 shots to solidify the win for the Cats.
The Cats held the Blackhawks – the top scoring power play in the preseason – to zero goals on six chances. Meanwhile, the Cats were able to capitalize twice on 13 chances. Along with the strong play of special teams, the Panthers took 47 shots on Nikolai Khabibulin.
Florida looks to open up the season next week, Oct. 6, against the Boston Bruins.