Craig Anderson will get the start in goal Tuesday night when the Panthers embark on their final road trip and final three games of the 2007-08 season.
Anderson, who won three consecutive games between March 2-6, including two shutouts which jump-started the Panthers on a seven-game win streak, gets the start in Atlanta against the Thrashers. Anderson has won four consecutive games.
The Panthers will stay in Atlanta before playing their final two games of the season Friday at Carolina and Saturday at Washington. A victory Tuesday would give the Panthers a franchise record 19 road wins.
Although out of the playoffs, GM and coach Jacques Martin reiterated Monday the words of Olli Jokinen after Saturday’s loss to the Capitals.
“You still have to play with pride, for your teammates,” Martin said. “It tells you about people…what kind of commitment you have. You look at a team like Tampa Saturday night, beating Carolina. There’s all kinds of teams who are eliminated, but they’re still battling hard.”
Martin said he hadn’t decided on whether he’ll play defenseman Noah Welch in any of the three remaining games. Welch, who suffered a separated shoulder Oct. 16, has played in only four games this season.
“He can play, but it never hurts to give him more time,” Martin isad. “There’s no doubt he’ll be stronger next September. You look at all the work Noah has done off the ice. It’s a benefit. What’s unfortunate is he hasn’t been able to play in games and gain experience.”
Martin also added the Panthers had signed University of Maine left winger Andrew Sweetland to an entry level contract. Sweetland participated in the Panther development camp last year and has “good size, speed, skill and hockey sense,” Martin said. “He will have an opportunity to make our team during training camp.”
Sweetland had eight goals in 28 games with Maine. He spent the 2006-07 season with the Amherst Ramblers (Junior A) where he scored a club record 56 goals and 61 assists in 54 games.