In a night of comebacks and firsts Panthers recently signed goalie Tim Thomas and their top draft pick Aleksander Barkov lived up to their hype.
In his first game that mattered in 17 months Thomas was spectacular in turning aside 25 shots while 18-year-old Barkov the second overall pick of the 2013 draft scored his first NHL goal in his first game to it at 9:28 of the third.
But it was Marcel Goc’s game-winner off a sweet centering feed from Tomas Fleischmann with 4:55 left and then his empty-netter with 1:29 remaining that provided the happy ending to a 4-2 victory in front of 16110 disappointing fans at American Airlines Center Thursday night.
“Our young players coming through making a difference our veteran guys stepping up when they needed to a guy like Mike Weaver probably star of the game for us blocked shots got goaded into a situation he didn’t want to but he took care of his business.
“Our penalty kill was really strong tonight. It was a mixture of things but a hard-fou...