Thornton Makes Panthers Playoff Debut in Game 4 Against Lightning

TampaJoe Thornton Monday (7pm ET, TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS) will play for the Florida Panthers for the first time in the Stanley Cup playoffs against Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of Round 2 of the Eastern Conference. ).

The 42-year-old forward suffered a healthy injury during his first nine games in Florida’s Stanley Cup playoffs. But with the Panthers on the brink of being eliminated after a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series, manager Andrew Brunette hopes Thornton can spark the spark.

“I think he will bring energy and enthusiasm and will have an impact on our players,” Brunett said. “I think they’ve fallen a little bit after the last few games, especially the second leg (2-1 loss). And we need a little more energy and a little more life in our group here tonight.”

[RELATED: Complete Panthers vs. Lightning series coverage]

Thornton, who signed a one-year contract with the Panthers last summer as an unlimited free agent, scored 10 points (5 goals and 5 assists) in 34 regular season games against the Panthers. Thornton leads the active players in 1,714 regular season games with 1,539 points (430 goals, 1,109) assists over 24 NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Panthers.

Thornton is fifth among active players with 134 points (32 goals and 132 assists) in 186 playoff games.

“I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said about the future Hall of Fame,” said Lightning coach John Cooper. “I was lucky enough to meet him at the 2019 San Jose All-Star Game, so I was able to spend some time with him. He is really a class individual. They are down in the series so things are changing and I think there is more to put into the league. There are far more bad people. Joe Thornton. … He’s just a class, a great guy.”

from now on Anton Rundel He will also play in Florida after losing 5-1 in Game 3 on Sunday. Anthony DuclairAfter scoring 31 goals during the regular season, he scored one goal in eight playoff games. Ryan Romberg It comes out of the lineup with healthy blemishes.

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