Huberdeau notched his first goal of the season Saturday in a 3-2 loss to the Canucks. The Panthers have only played three games this season, so no big deal. Huberdeau is one of the kitties' best offensive players and he should replicate last year's excellence. It may just take a few more games for the lines to gel.
Huberdeau was blanked on seven shot attempts between the first two games of the season. Huberdeau did record an even-strength apple in the season opener against the Lightning last Saturday, but he was a poor option in weekly leagues if for no other reason than Florida's odd schedule to start the new hockey year. The Panthers only played those two games in a five-day span, but Huberdeau and Co. will get back to work against the visiting Canucks on Saturday. The top-six winger has six points in eight games against that Western Conference opponent.
Huberdeau has been held off the scoresheet in all three of his preseason appearances, including Thursday's 6-2 loss to the Lightning. Huberdeau had a career season last year, posting highs in goals (27) and points (42), but he has yet to add to the Panthers' scoring in the preseason. Huberdeau's new linemate, Mike Hoffman, is also pointless through three games. While it does take time to build chemistry, the Panthers are hopeful both wingers can take it to another gear once the regular season starts for Florida on Oct. 6.
Huberdeau posted 27 goals and 69 points -- both career highs -- in 82 games this season. After the departures of Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault due to the expansion draft, Huberdeau was enlisted on the Panthers' top line. Huberdeau has always been this type of player, so being healthy for a full season and rifling a career-best 204 shots on goal certainly helped him make new personal records. The 24-year-old also logged significant power-play minutes, where he notched seven goals and 19 points.
Huberdeau lit the lamp twice on eight shots with a plus-2 rating in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs. After scoring only two points, both assists, in his previous seven games, Huberdeau roared back to life and notched his 24th and 25th goals of the season. The Panthers' playoff hopes are on life support, but that likely won't keep the 24-year-old from being productive down the stretch as he tries to collect the three points he needs for his first career 70-point campaign.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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