Balisy To Make NHL Debut As Panthers Continue Homestand Against Red Wings

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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – For the second time this week the Florida Panthers will face a team on a losing streak.

Head coach Bob Boughner is hoping for a better showing this time around.

Florida will host the Detroit Red Wings, losers of six straight, on Saturday night at the BB&T Center.

Earlier this week the Panthers were embarrassed to the tune of 5-1 by a Montreal team that had lost seven straight and scored a league-low 13 goals in their 8 games.

Detroit started the season with four wins in five games but hasn’t picked up two points since, with four of their six consecutive losses coming by one goal.

“They’re gonna be desparate, just like Montreal was,” Boughner said of the Red Wings. “But for us, we talked about controlling our own game and what our great game looks like [that] and we want to get on a roll ourselves. We don’t want to be a team that’s win one, lose one. We need to take advantage of this homestand and again, just play our game. I think if we concentrate on our foundation, our details I think things will work out.”

The Panthers will have a new face in the lineup as Chase Balisy (pronounced BAL-IS-EE) makes his NHL debut in place of the injured Connor Brickley.

Balisy will play on Florida’s third line with Derek MacKenzie and Nick Bjugstad and he’ll be counted on to help with the penalty kill.

“It’s his first game so he’ll have a little bit of nerves I’m sure, but he’s been in the minors for a while and he’s been one of their best players and a solid guy; two-way player,” Boughner said.

Last season Balisy led the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds in scoring with 17 goals and 28 assists.

Also Springfield’s all-time leader in games played (84), the 25-year-old has been waiting a long time for his NHL debut since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft by Nashville.

“You think about it your whole life, wanting to play in the NHL,” Balisy said. “You know it’s fun, I’m just gonna enjoy it and work hard and do whatever I can to help this team win.”

After participating in his first NHL morning skate knowing that he’d be in the lineup, it was interesting to see calm, cool and collected Balisy appeared.

“I don’t really have expectations right now,” he said. “I haven’t played a regular season game in the NHL. Just, like I said, work hard and take everything as it comes and help this team get a win.”

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