The Florida Panthers hosted a hockey doubleheader versus the Nashville Predators at BB&T Center in Sunrise on Thursday. The Panthers held the first doubleheader in NHL history on September 16, 2013 against the Predators. Florida hosted it again in 2014 and Nashville was the home team in the 2015 contest.
Florida won the first game by a score of 4-1. Dryden Hunt scored from the crease area with a shot past Marek Mazanec at 13:07 of the first period to give Florida a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Racine and Jonathan Ang were credited with the assists.
The Panthers added to their margin 11 seconds into the third period as Greg McKegg skated to the high slot and fired a wrist shot by Jonas Gunnarsson. Ang made it 3-0 at 3:47 as he redirected the puck in the slot off a slapshot by Michael Downing from the left point. The Cats got a four-goal margin on a Jonathan Marchessault tally at 4:48 with assists from Shane Harper and Denis Malgin.
Nashville got on the scoreboard at the midway point of the frame. James Neal snapped a shot from the low right circle for a power-play goal at 9:35.
The second game began differently as Nashville moved up to a 1-0 advantage on the power play at 6:51 of the first period. Anthony Bitetto released a wrist shot from the top of the zone which was deflected in by Mikka Salomaki in the low slot past Roberto Luongo.
The Preds pulled out to a 2-0 margin at 12:27. Bitetto put another shot on net and Pontus Aberg followed with a shot from close range. Florida was held to just one shot in the first 19 minutes and were outshot 9-3 after one period.
The Cats cut the deficit to 2-1 with 2:03 remaining in the second period when Nashville turned the puck over around their net. Chase Balisy fed it from the right of the crease area to Paul Thompson in the slot area and he ripped a high shot by Mark Visentin.